National Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) begins November 1st and has participants working towards a goal of a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.


I have never participated in NaNoWriMo. I’ve googled it, though. Some writers come out for (yes, let us push ourselves to new limits!) and some come out against (you can’t rush the muse!)

If you are thinking about participating, a great plus is the sense of community. On the NaNoWriMo website, under their local events tab, you can select your region and scroll through their social calendar. In Toronto, for example, in addition to “write-ins” they have karaoke and a “geeky book swap”. (I might have to crash that one…) They also have letters of encouragement from published authors. The pep talk from Audrey Niffengger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, is a fav of mine as well as Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, who says “When in doubt, just add ninjas. (Ninjas do not need to be actual ninjas.) (But they can be.)”

If you do decide to sign up, I highly recommend Adrian Faulkner’s Fantasy Faction article on how to use NaNoWriMo as your RD department.

If I’m honest, I will probably never participate in NaNoWriMo. I have tried to keep quotas in the past and it just doesn’t work. Not because I freeze up and not because I’m not willing to write badly (boy am I ever!) but because it’s just not my process. I need brainstorming time and daydreaming time. Sometimes I write many words a day, some days I write hardly any. It’s not for me. But I will wish any and all who sign up the very best! Enjoy October while it lasts. Soon you’ll have some serious work to do.


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