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Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2011

I’m in the midst of prepping for NaNoWriMo 2011.  I first took on the challenge in 2009, and that’s what led me to the completion of the “never to see the light of day” manuscript which sits in the virtual drawer on my computer.  Although that effort was abandoned upon completion (that’s another topic for another day – knowing when to hide your manuscript away from the world rather than pursue publication), I think that NaNoWriMo itself has true merits.  After all, Sara Gruen started “Water for Elephants” as a NaNoWriMo manuscript, and look where that led.

My new book (the 2011 NaNoWriMo project) has been hibernating for over seven years.  The seed was planted back in 2004 when we lived in St. Louis.  (More to come in the next post on the germination of literary seeds).  The book has been floating around in my head ever since.  In June of this year, the story finally started boiling over, and I knew that it was time to write it.  Given that I’m constantly juggling the world of writing that pays me money (i.e. non-fiction and journalism) and writing that keeps me awake at night (i.e. this darn novel), finding time to put words on the page is tough.  Combine that with two little boys who have homework, sports practice and playdates and a husband who likes a little attention now and then, and it’s not the ideal life for writing a novel.  This is the reason I love National Novel Writing Month.

There is something about putting an important acronym title and a deadline on the activity that makes it all the more real.  November of 2009 (my first NaNoWriMo) was the most productive period of my fiction career.  I’ve always been a sucker for accountability.  And even if the accountability is nothing more than the progress bar that inches across my NaNoWriMo homepage, it’s enough to keep me going for a full month. 

My goal this year is 2,000 words a day.  My latest novel clocks in at approximately 100,000 words, so I’ll be pressing on for two to three more weeks after November 30 in the hopes of finishing the first draft before my kids are out of school for the holiday break.  And no, I don’t plan on querying agents immediately after finishing.  NaNoWriMo is the mandatory diarrhea-of-the-brain exercise (pardon the expression) that I need to get the first draft out of my brain and onto the paper.  My first drafts are often VERY dialogue heavy with minimal redeeming description.  And the descriptions that do slip in are ridiculous and frankly, laughable. However, moving the story along from opening scene to climax and denouement is such an important part of writing.  If you don’t get it down (in all of its painful and ugly glory), you can’t edit and edit AND edit to something wonderful.

And that, my friends, is why I will be spending every evening of November pounding out draft #1 of the The Spaces Between Us (working title). How about you? How’s your writing going these days? Are any of you taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge this year?  If you need a writing buddy, you’ll know where to find me.

Since I just admitted that I’m the most productive when I have a quantifiable goal, here’s my NaNoWriMo desktop calendar for 2011.  I love having a word count to keep me going, and I was inspired by a Van Gogh painting of cherry blossoms.  Must be the seven inches of new snow we have on the ground right now that inspired me to think of spring.  Click on the image to open in a new window and right click to download at full size.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo and Happy Writing!

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482 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good luck on your NaNo. 🙂 And thanks for that beautiful calender, which I’ll be using in November. I try to do 2k a day to stay ahead, so I appreciate how you have both word counts on there.

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck to you, Tina. I look forward to hearing about your NaNo experience this year.

      October 27, 2011
  2. Good luck to you! I just signed up for the first time. I’ve never written that intensely before, but I’m excited to try it and see what happens.

    October 27, 2011
    • Enjoy every moment of it, Leah. It’s rare that you dedicate yourself to a whole month of creative exploration. I’m sure you’ll discover some wonderful ideas!

      October 27, 2011
      • Sounds like a lot of fun. I will have to put it on my agenda for next year. It will have to fit in around my other November duties, so I will have to prepare the schedule ahead of starting and comitting. Good luck and great calendar idea too!

        October 28, 2011
      • Thanks, amberlight. I could never take on NaNoWriMo – let alone complete it – without prepping a schedule ahead of time and sticking to it. Good luck with your November duties and thanks for stopping by.

        October 28, 2011
  3. Jodie #

    I plan on taking the challenge again this year. Good Luck to you and Happy writing. 🙂

    October 27, 2011
  4. indiraadams #

    I really, really love to write. But lately, my problem is that after my laptop broke, I can not motivate myself to write on the family laptop. So now I’m just blogging, but I hope that once I can get myself a new computer, I’ll be working on that book that is also sitting in my head.

    To me the most frightening thought for me personally is that I would write a WHOLE BOOK and then just store it somewhere and never use it. It takes so much hard work to finish a manuscript, and to never be able to publish it? It’s a scary thought. But I have heard that the experience is great.

    http://indiraadams.wordpress.com

    October 27, 2011
    • I completely understand the fear of putting so much work into something that may never see the light of day. However, getting NaNoWriMo (or any finished manuscript) under your belt is such a worthwhile experience. Proving to yourself that you can see something as large as a novel through to completion will take away the “boogie man factor.” If you can find the discipline to finishe one novel, you’ll know that you can finish ten novels. And one (or all ten of those) just might get published. Good luck to you and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
    • I completely understand the fear of putting so much work into something that may never see the light of day. However, getting NaNoWriMo (or any finished manuscript) under your belt is such a worthwhile experience. Proving to yourself that you can see something as large as a novel through to completion will take away the “boogie man factor.” If you can find the discipline to finish one novel, you’ll know that you can finish ten novels. And one (or all ten of those) just might get published. Good luck to you and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  5. yay! Best of luck to you. 😀 I am signed up too. I’ve never done this before, so I am a wee bit nervous.

    I love how you put it: “NaNoWriMo is the mandatory diarrhea-of-the-brain exercise.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Darlene

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on your first NaNoWriMo, Darlene. It’s such an amazing exercise in discipline and getting those words on paper. Enjoy every moment of November.

      October 28, 2011
  6. Wow. I’m uber-impressed. NaNoWriMo scares the bejeezus out of me. Seriously…

    I’m currently writing a tongue-in-cheek memoir about my crazy blindsiding divorce and its aftermath (which is the basis of my blog), so daily writing is like therapy. But this kind of commitment is truly impressive. And brave.

    And I think we just got to the bottom of my issues with NaNoWriMo: Based on my divorce experience, I may just be a commitment-phobe. I’ll send a check for $150 for the hour’s worth of therapy your post prevented me from having to endure…

    Congrats to you — and best of luck! 🙂

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks, Mikalee. Who knew that NaNoWriMo could serve as therapy? 🙂 I think any writing (blog, novel, cocktail napkin journaling) is brave. Putting your words on paper makes the thoughts and feelings all the more real and makes you all the more vulnerable. Kudos to you on your blog. And send that therapy payment anytime!! 🙂

      October 28, 2011
  7. emmiemears #

    Love it! I’m doing a sort of NaNoRebel challenge on my blog for those of us who aren’t fully starting from scratch but need the massive kick in the butt to get stuff done.

    It’s amazing how much deadlines help, though. I am planning to go to the Writers Digest Conference in January, and that deadline is helping me get my first novel (which is trundling to the end of the second draft) polished and pitch-ready. Two and a half months isn’t much time, but I think I can do it.

    Good luck! It always feels good to get those words on paper. Writing a novel is kind of like giving birth.

    October 27, 2011
    • Having a conference deadline – and the possibility of a live pitch – looming is such a driving force. Congrats to you on your second-draft status. I’ll think good thoughts for you in January. Good luck on the NaNoRebel challenge, too.

      October 28, 2011
  8. Holly #

    I really enjoyed this post. I am also taking up the challenge of NaNoWriMo. I keep meaning to do it, but this year I know I will. I’m trying to fit it in around school and everything else going on in my life, but I’m determined to get it done.

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck to you, Holly. I know how tough it can be finding the time to write with such a busy schedule. Keep plugging away and don’t forget that you’re worth making the time for the writing that drives you. Have a great November. I can’t wait to hear how NaNoWriMo goes.

      October 28, 2011
  9. First, let me wish you luck with November and all the writing it will bring you. I started my blog a year ago and after much encouragement from readers, I’ve decided to try my hand at a novel as well. I’ve done a few short stories, but nothing of this endeavor…and it seems daunting to say the least. I thought about doing this challenge, but am in a similar situation as you with kids and a wife. The difference being that so far, writing does not pay any bills, so I find it hard to justify the time commitment for an entire month. Anyway, I look forward to following your progress and perhaps bouncing some ideas off you for my work as I get started.

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for introducing yourself, sportsjim. As I said in my reply to your comment in the other post, I look forward to hearing about your writing. Keep me posted on your endeavors.

      October 27, 2011
  10. “NaNoWriMo is the mandatory diarrhea-of-the-brain exercise” —this is exactly why I signed up as well. I just desperately need to work on my outline…

    Good luck to you, future successful author –that goes for the rest of you wrimos, too!

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck to you too, Amber. I can’t wait to hear how NaNo 2011 goes for you.

      October 27, 2011
  11. Never heard of Nanowrimo, but I like it. My writing is, well we won’t discuss it because it’s static at the moment. But I don’t have nearly the distractions you do, which means I no longer have an excuse not to. Hmm, maybe I’ll try it!

    October 27, 2011
    • We all have distractions, lsurrett2. That’s why I love NaNoWriMo. It’s an annual chance for me to push aside the distractions and get a chunk of words on the page. Good luck with your future writing.

      October 27, 2011
  12. I love seeing how many of us WriMos are shaking out our writing hands on WordPress! You are absolutely right–something about the official title and deadline makes the process more vivid and real than plugging away on your own time. Once I hit that first 10,000 words, I get that rush and know it’s really going to happen. Feel free to pop in and say hi on NaNo–I’m Jessica_the_Overachiever on the site (handle picked so that when I wonder why I’m doing this, I’ll be reminded as I log in :-P)

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Jessica. I can’t wait to hear how NaNoWriMo goes for you this year. It looks like writing buddies aren’t working yet on the new NaNo site. Be sure to find me once that function is up and running.

      October 27, 2011
  13. Great post! I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, in hopes of finishing a novel I started last summer (I know that’s against the rules but oh well). Will be keeping up with your blog to see how it goes…and I definitely need a writing buddy! Much of the process – as you point out – really is “painful and ugly”!!!

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Same Chic. As much as finishing an in-progress work in “cheating,” I say whatever works to get it done is the best course of action. I can’t wait to hear how it goes in all of its painful and ugly glory. 🙂

      October 27, 2011
  14. Great blog, and I love the calendar (where can I get one?). I am participating in NaNoWriMo too and am anxious about it, but can’t wait to get started! Good luck to you!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Isabella. Enjoy every moment of NaNoWriMo. It provides the rare chance to dedicate 30 days to rampant creativity. Good luck.

      October 27, 2011
  15. Great Post.. 🙂

    October 27, 2011
  16. That’s such a cool desktop background. I’m excited for this whole NaNoWriMo project. It’s my first year doing this, and honestly, I’m a little nervous, but I know it will be fun. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Cheers.

    October 27, 2011
  17. aparajitasaxena #

    Here’s wishing you luck for your endevour 🙂

    October 27, 2011
  18. julia #

    Good luck!

    October 27, 2011
  19. I will also be participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ve won it through before, so I’m excited (and scared) to be doing it again. Best of luck to you! 🙂

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, too, Elana. Congrats on previous wins. Enjoy every moment of November.

      October 28, 2011
  20. So excited about this to start! It will be my first year!

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
  21. This will be my first year for NaNoWriMo. I’m very excited. Like you, I find it hard to find the time to write what I desire between my blog, my new column that will appear weekly in my hometown newspaper, and my five crumb snatchers. Best of luck to you and look me up in the Memphis Region (CheriPie). No snow here yet, but it’s looking very wintry-like today!

    October 27, 2011
    • Although I’m sure they don’t allow you much time, five crumb snatchers must provide a ton of fodder for blogs, columns and even great stories at cocktail parties. But how many of us have time for witty banter at cocktail parties these days? Good luck with the new column and with this year’s NaNoWriMo.

      October 27, 2011
  22. That calendar is great! I love NaNoWriMo because it officially gives you permission to write furiously in pursuit of a goal. This is my fourth year and for the first time, I’m pushing for 100,000 words. Best of luck and see you at the finish line!

    October 27, 2011
    • 100K is ambitious. I wish you the best of luck, Adrianne. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

      October 27, 2011
  23. You inspire me! I’ve been “writing” novels since I was 15 and actually managed to finish one over a summer. My sister, who unearthed it (it was written in a notebook!), said it was really good. Since then, I’ve been struggling to actually finish writing anything.

    I may just start my novel this year. Maybe NaNoWriMo might be the best way to kick off the writing inertia!

    October 27, 2011
    • You hit the nail on the head, Yelly. NaNoWriMo gives you the inertia that you need to start and continue writing. A few bouts of discipline like November, and those ideas finally make it out of my brain and onto the page.

      October 27, 2011
  24. Wow great post! I’m attempting, no, completing (think positive!) my first NaNoWriMo this year, and I need all of the encouragement I can get! I too am a sucker for accountability, so it’s great to read your advice. Thanks so much and good luck, see you on the other side!

    October 27, 2011
    • I hope to see you in the muck of the middle as well as on the other side. You will finish. NaNoWriMo is a marathon, for sure. And it’s worth all of the mental leg cramps and side stitches that come with. Good luck to you, and I can’t wait to hear how November goes.

      October 28, 2011
  25. This will be my first NaNoWriMo. I’ve been working on a fiction story in my head for a couple of years now, and I hope to finally get it all out on paper. I’ve never intentionally carved time out of my life for it before, and so I hope that this gives it some kind of legitimacy for me and frees me up to think of it as more than “playing around.” I think that 2000 words a day is manageable, but I don’t know how I’m going to be able to resist the relentless editing that I tend to do while I’m writing. I guess we’ll see how it goes. Good luck on yours, and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks, steph. I replied to a comment earlier about my own internal editor. I completely understand how relentless the urge to delete and change can be. I compare my internal editor to a snarky junior-high girl complete with flippant hair toss and carefully curled lip. My solution: crank up a great playlist on the iPod and don’t let you fingers stop. In spite of the fact that much of the first draft is junk, you’ll find those magical turns of phrase that will remind you why you love to write. Good luck to you!

      October 28, 2011
  26. swissmongoose #

    Good luck for you =)

    October 27, 2011
  27. Congratulations on your accomplishments so far! By the way, Sara Gruen, who you mention, used to be my neighbor, and fyi also has young children and a husband needing attention. Story goes that they agreed that he would lock her in a room to force the issue of writing without interruptions real or imagined. Looks like it worked!

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, Debby. What great words of encouragement about your old neighbor, Sara Gruen. Thanks for letting me know. It sounds like I’ll need to pass that message along to my husband about locking me in a room and forcing me to write. Have a great November and thanks for stopping by.

      October 27, 2011
  28. zenlifefrugal #

    While I am getting ready to write an ebook in the next month, its not a novel. But I think it is good that you are getting ready to try something like this again!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, zenlifefrugal. An ebook is no small task. Completing any writing project of length takes a great deal of discipline. I applaud you. Good luck with the book!

      October 27, 2011
  29. Love this calendar image, and will copy it to inspire me. I am attempting my first NaNoWriMo (the couple of people I have told have looked at me quizzically when I mentioned this moniker). I’m hoping that striving for each day’s word count will help to silence that inner voice that says “this is horrible, really truly horrible!” with every sentence I write.
    Good luck to you, and happy writing.

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, Deanna. We all have that mean internal editor who slings arrows at our writing. Heck, I get paid to write everyday, and I still have to silence the snarky junior-high version of myself who says, “no one will ever want to read this stuff!” Just put on some tunes, and keep your fingers moving. Your inner voice will get tired of yelling over the music and take a nap while you get some words down on paper. Remember, butt in chair, words on paper, gag for your internal editor. Good luck with NaNo this year! Happy writing.

      October 27, 2011
  30. Whooo! You go, girl! 🙂 I was thinking of attempting NaNo for my third round this year, but the verdict ended up being NaNO–haha! I can’t risk taking much-needed time away from studying for my massage therapist licensing test over the next 8 weeks. 🙂
    Will you be posting any exerpts from your NaNo on your blog? You have a lovely voice.

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, Hannah. I hadn’t thought of posting excerpts. I might just do that. Thanks for the idea. Good luck with the massage therapist test. I’m sure that all us NaNo’ers could use our own massage therapist after November. Sounds like NaNO was the right answer this year for you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      October 27, 2011
  31. hi..I just found out about this challenge from my son…do you have to register, do an entry form etc or can it be something you just do…what is the final outcome other than having written a novel, which I agree is worty enough…just wondering if there was some contest etc????…I’m a short story writer so I’m out of the loop…apologies for sounding dense about this….ha! (maybe I could be NOVELIST!)

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, An Embarrassment. Visit http://www.nanowrimo.org. You should find everything you need. You do need to open a free account to “register.” Make sure to pick a home region, too. The final outcome other than writing novel is a digital certificate, some great discounts on writing products from NaNo sponsors and a huge feeling of accomplishment. It’s not really a contest…just a bunch of writers sharing a common goal and slogging along together. The NaNo website has lots of great information. Enjoy!

      October 27, 2011
  32. SEE ABOVE…MAKE THAT WORTHY…NOT WORTY!!!

    October 27, 2011
  33. I’ve been debating about whether to do NaNoWriMo this year…and I’m actually working more on poetry lately. I’ve been wondering if instead I should do a one-poem-a-day challenge (a NaPoWriMo?). Anyway, whatever I end up doing, I’m encouraged by your planning and excitement! -Abi

    October 27, 2011
    • I love the NaPoWriMo idea, off the front porch. The idea of a fresh poem each day could be a really inspiring project. Good luck with your decision and thanks for stopping by.

      October 27, 2011
  34. This is great! Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I’m not quite creative enough to write a novel but I definitely appreciate those who are! 🙂

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Elvis… Enjoy November and think or us NaNo’ers. Have a great November.

      October 27, 2011
  35. Congraluations on being pressed. I was considering doing the blogging/writing challenge for November but haven’t committed to it yet. I will be checking out your page at NaNoWriMo.

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, Jodi. Good luck with you decision about November. It’s quite a commitment, but well worth it. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 27, 2011
  36. Good luck with NaNoWriMo this year! I’ll be taking it on for my 6th year, and I think you summed it up prett well when you wrote that it’s a diarrhea-of-the-brain exercise that gets the 1st draft out and onto paper.

    October 27, 2011
    • Six years is impressive, wingedcreature. I feel like an amateur compared to you. I’m sure you could give us all a few tips. Good luck with NaNo 2011, and keep me posted on your progress.

      October 27, 2011
  37. Good luck! I did NaNo last year, and now I’m shopping that novel to agents. My NaNo project this year will be sending at least one query a day on the 2010 NaNo novel. I think it’s the total immersion in the book for 30 days that makes NaNoWriMo work (at least it did for me). The story is always in your head, all day, all night, and the ideas keep flowing.

    October 27, 2011
    • What a great approach to getting that novel sold, DugganPubs. I love the idea of 30 queries during the month of November. Good luck with finding an agent. I’ll be sending good publishing thoughts your way.

      October 27, 2011
  38. I will be participating this year as-well. Completed the challenge in 2008. I printed the manuscript in December of last year but only made it a few pages in with my red pen before I became busy with other things. Looking forward to another go at a fresh novel!

    Best of luck,

    Aaron

    October 27, 2011
    • Hey, Aaron. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with NaNo this year. My manuscript was so “bloody” with red after NaNo 2009. That’s when I decided it shouldn’t see the light of day. Luckily, I spent 2010 finishing and publishing my non-fiction book. One failure + one success = loads of experience. Have a great November!

      October 27, 2011
  39. Having a deadline and a goal is definitely a great idea. I went to a book seminar, where one of the novelists said writing is all about discipline, that the muse better rock up at 9am every Monday morning weather she likes it or not… lol. How you juggle all that- your family, other writing, life in general- I do not know….lol. You just might be my idol… ;o)

    October 27, 2011
    • I think you might be my idol with a handle like “I Made You a Mixtape.” I love it! The novelist at your seminar was absolutely right. Butt in the chair is more important than anything else – especially when the going gets tough in the middle of a manuscript. Good luck with your writing.

      October 27, 2011
  40. Hey – thanks for the link! Great idea. I may just enter this myself!

    October 27, 2011
  41. love the calandar! i too am a ‘sucker for accountability’.1st time nano-er…excited. scared. hopeful.

    October 27, 2011
    • Excited, scared and hopeful hit the nail on the head, ashazenzi! I felt that way in 2009. I felt that way in 2010 completing my non-fiction book. I feel that way now on the precipice of NaNo 2011. It’s such a great combination of emotions – and what keeps me coming back to writing over and over. Good luck!

      October 27, 2011
  42. hndbff1999 #

    Im on nanowrimo too! Haha, 1st time and im soo exccited!

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck with your first NaNo, hndbff1999. It’s a fun ride and a great way to build momentum for your novel project. Have a great November, and be sure to get some rest, too.

      October 27, 2011
      • hndbff1999 #

        Thanks! Im super excited, and i got a bunch of my friends to sign up too. ttyl!

        October 27, 2011
  43. How did you ever manage to find time to write this article?!! You are clearly very organized, and deserve to be freshly pressed! Good luck with the Nanowrimo.

    October 27, 2011
  44. spacefuels #

    Sara, You cracked me up with that “knowing when to hide your work from the world” comment. Great writing. Keep it up and thanks for sharing with us. I am also working on a WordPress blog. Here Is mine.

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck with your new blog, spacefuels. I’ll be checking in on your posts.

      October 27, 2011
  45. yep, I get it! Loved writing in 2009 aswell, that was my first. Then again last winter. I’d almost lost track of time though so I’m glad I came across your blog to remind me to focus. I ended up writing every evening, about 2000 words and in the mornings before work I’d look over what I had said. I found myself obsessed. Writing notes for myself as I was gardening. Now I work at a low key animal shelter, I think I can sneak onto the computer here! I’m excited now. Thanks again!
    sleam

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for the encouragement, sleam. Sounds like you’re in the perfect spot – working with animals and sneaking in some time to write. I can’t think of a better combination. Enjoy November and good luck with NaNo.

      October 27, 2011
  46. Best of luck to you!

    October 27, 2011
  47. No, no NaNoWriMo for me, just the sound of it is a bit much. But good luck with it.

    October 27, 2011
    • You’re right, panovision101. NaNo isn’t for everyone. Have a great November and think of us NaNo’ers as we’re sleepless and wordless. Thanks for the good luck wishes.

      October 27, 2011
  48. Glad to see another WriMo! Good luck! This is my first year trying it and I’m hoping for great results! I’ve been doing a lot of plot work and am anxious to start writing.

    I hope that things go well, and I’m always looking for NaNo buddies!

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck with your first year at NaNoWriMo, Samantha. I’m sure all of your plot work will pay off and keep you going in the middle when things get murky. Happy Writing!

      October 27, 2011
  49. This will be my first year participating in NaNoWriMo! I am exceptionally excited, but I am also a little nervous that I will not be able to “complete” the challenge due to work demands. I have the book idea in my head and I have it outlined (ready to write), now I just need the time. I may even try to plan out my “Words Per Day” on a calendar as well!

    I wish you the best of luck in your writing!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for the good luck wishes, cmagnifico. Good luck to you too. NaNoWriMo is so much fun whether you finish or not. And it’s inspiring to know that so many other people are slogging along with you during November. Happy Writing!

      October 27, 2011
  50. I’m giving it a try this year 🙂 Good luck to you… I have a vague idea of what I’m doing… VERY vague! The calendar is a great idea to keep motivated. I will have to work on my own schedule. I been a poet and blogger for years but have never written any one thing that was longer than 50 pages so it is sure to get interesting!

    October 27, 2011
    • Blastedgoat, it take a certain person to write poetry. It should be fun to explore a different medium this year with a novel. Good luck in NaNoWriMo.

      October 27, 2011
  51. Awesome goal! I dream of having time to write too, I love writing and my head feels at peace when I make time to get thoughts on paper. Even starting my blog with its measly few posts that mostly rant on about random things has relieved my headache somewhat.
    I work full time, do Uni at night and am planning a wedding, I also have a large family, a new nephew/godson (the first in our family) and a niece on the way so there is very little time left for me at the moment. But, I have just completed my last Uni assessment for the year and the wedding is in 4 weeks, I am praying there is some time for me after that 😀
    Emotionally and virtually barracking you!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for the barracking, ditchthebun. It sounds like you’ve got lots going on. Good luck with the wedding. Just remember, writing is writing. Whether it’s a blog, or a novel or a poem on the back of a napkin. Whatever it takes to make you “feel at peace.” Thanks for your comments.

      October 27, 2011
  52. Hey, another fellow Nanovelist! I like the desktop calendar you made. You can find me on Nanowrimo.com with the same username here, if you want anymore writing buddies.

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Chasmania. Good luck with NaNo this year. It looks like Writing Buddies are still down on the new NaNo page, but I’ll be checking for you once that function is active. Happy writing in November.

      October 27, 2011
  53. I’m going to do it and may do 50, 55 or 60,000. I still have four days to decide, but I might do the latter. Thanks for the calendar, it’s really helpful!
    Keep writing!
    http://www.thecameraangle.wordpress.com
    P.S good luck on your novel!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks, thecameraangle. Good luck to you too. I’ll be thinking of you during those long nights of writing.

      October 27, 2011
  54. Good luck with your novel. I took part in it last year, but never went past 10,000 words. However, this year I am pretty pumped about it and I have a tiny sapling of a plot line has started to grow in my head. Hope it works out!

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck with NaNo, britishfangirl. All it takes is that tiny sapling, and you can turn it into great things. Mind mapping exercises really help me to brainstorm into those far corners of my brain and discover plot twists I didn’t know I had in there. It’s especially usefully once I hit that 10-15K mark when the excitement slows down a little. Enjoy November and thanks for stopping by.

      October 27, 2011
  55. drchoneydew #

    ok you inspired me…well i did donate a prize..hehe Hey if October is a sign of accountability..i am IN TROUBLE. yet soo like the calender idea!! maybe i will even comment to YOU one day in November hehe Get it GOT it GOOOOOOOOD! ❤

    https://drchoneydew.wordpress.com/

    October 27, 2011
    • I’m so glad I could provide some inspiration. Sometimes, all it takes is a little push from a stranger. Enjoy November, and I hope to hear from you again.

      October 28, 2011
  56. I’m doing it this year, though I’m a newbie. But I figured if I could to the 3 Day Novel Contest last year, and swing 34000 words then, I can do this. Thanks for your post. I’m getting excited to try it. My goal is 1500 words per weekday, and 3000 on weekends. Have no clue if its a realistic goal or not. I just hope my full time day job doesn’t wear me out. Good luck!

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck to you, hcfitzpa. I’m so impressed that you pulled off the 3-Day Novel contest. You’re right. If you can do that, you can do NaNoWriMo with no problems. Enjoy every moment of November and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  57. I’m gonna give it a go for the first time this year. I’m a former journalist, now SAHM, with two little ones, 3 1/2 and 2, and a husband in seminary, SO I’m thinking I might be crazy or I’m about to get really cozy with 5 a.m. and my coffeemaker. All the best to you and thanks for sharing! Great post!

    October 27, 2011
    • I can relate to everything you’re describing. Writing was actually what helped me maintain my identity when I took the plunge to become a SAHM. Kudos to you on that decision. My brother went through seminary, and I know how all-consuming that time can be. Hang in there and I’ll send you a virtual cheers with my morning Diet Coke when you’re cozying up to the coffemaker. From one journalist to another, have a blast with NaNoWriMo!

      October 28, 2011
  58. Where do I go to find out more about NaNo? Do I follow you? Couldn’t see anyplace to go from your blog, but perhaps I am not seeing the right thing. Clue me in, please and thanks.

    Jim MCgivern

    October 27, 2011
    • Hi, Jim. The best place to find additional information is http://www.nanowrimo.org. The website has all of the information you need to get you started on the month of writing (or at least suck you into some interesting forum discussions!) Good luck and let me know if you need more information.

      October 28, 2011
  59. For some reason I’ve been back and forth on whether or not I’d be able commit to this type of constant writing for a month on one particular subject; even though it’s something I need in order to get the raw material out of my head and into form.
    And then for some reason this article tipped me over the edge to want to make that commitment [there seems to be no direct reasoning that I can point to, just that the idea and point tickled my gut].
    Always inspired by the myth/reality that Kesey wrote Cuckoo’s nest in three days makes me want to emulate that crunch. But even though inspiration is tough to call on constantly for three days straight, that makes the process of taking an entire month and utilizing every day so you can capture every opportunity when inspiration does comes very ideal.
    I’ve had an idea brewing in my head these past couple months and it seems it’s meant to be that I get started on it this November 2011, eh? I’m excited about it and I wish you, Sara and Photographer, and everyone else great luck and fun and accomplishment in your upcoming manuscripts.

    p.s. I’ll more than likely be adding excerpts of my NaNoWriMo project to my blog, as will the other writers, when November hits so please feel free to stop by and see what we’re up to.
    http://sickunderpressure.wordpress.com

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Larry. I’m so happy that by serendipitous turn of events you stumbled on my post and it helped with your decision. If only we all could crank out something as genius as Cuckoo’s Nest in three days (or even a month). But we can dream, right? And if nothing else, NaNoWriMo gives us an excuse to block out the world for a month and just write. Good luck to you, and I look forward to reading your excerpts.

      October 28, 2011
  60. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! This will be my first year. I have a terrible problem with writing and then deleting whole paragraphs. It’ll be interesting.

    October 27, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on your first NaNoWriMo. Remember – NO DELETING. My internal editor is a snarky junior high girl (complete with hair toss and lip curl) and loves it when I delete paragraphs. But then I find myself during edit #4 wishing I could remember those three words that went together so well in the paragraph that I killed. No deleting during November – just writing. There will be plenty of time for deleting in December!! Happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  61. NaNoWriMo! Pulled off this crazy stunt last year for the first time and now with days to November I’m super excited to do it again. I’m a total panster, all I know is that I’m writing the second book in my fantasy trilogy and that’s perfectly fine with me. Outlines simply aren’t my thing. Best of luck to you, happy NaNoing!

    October 27, 2011
    • Congrats on winning NaNoWriMo last year and even bigger congrats on taking it on again in 2011. I’m so jealous of pantsers. I’m such a planner; I break out in hives if I don’t have a well developed outline. Either way, I think that the deadlines of NaNo can produce some great ideas. Good luck and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  62. Break a leg!

    October 28, 2011
  63. Sarah Doyle #

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’m writing something other than a novel, but will use NaNoWriMo for my own purposes. I wrote a poem a day in November 2009 (under a different scheme) and found it very helpful to my self-discipline (lack of). I even like a few of the poems that came out of it. So, here are best wishes for all of us this year — and to anyone doing any worthwhile project!

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, Sarah. I love the idea of NaPoWriMo. I was a literature major in college and spent many hours reading poetry. I think it takes a certain type of talent to find those succinct phrases that make a poem so poignant. Best of luck to you and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  64. all the best wishes for you.

    October 28, 2011
  65. Good luck! I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this year too after doing it in 2009 and taking a break in 2010. Quite excited but also a bit scared about it since my story idea isn’t as mature as I wished it would be by now.

    Love your desktop calendar! 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Congratson taking on NaNoWriMo again in 2011, supergenericgirl. Sometimes the best surprises come from pantsing it in your writing. I tend to be an OCD planenr type, but the days that I just let go and write with and vague idea always result in some amazing discoveries. Enjoy the ride and happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  66. It always amazes me how we writers push on with little hope of producing the next best seller.

    I belong to a New Jersey state wide group called, “Women Who Write.” We divide the groups into local groups of about six, and at each meeting we read a piece of our work aloud. Others critique the piece and offer support and encouragement.

    That helps; writing is such an isolating experience.

    Good luck to you, and congratulations on your FP status.

    Ronnie

    October 28, 2011
    • I completely agree, Ronnie. Publishing a best seller is as likely as playing in the NBA, but we all keep pushing along. Some days I don’t write because I want to. I write because I have to. “Women Who Write” sounds like a great opportunity to share your work and find that encouragement in an otherwise lonely vocation/avocation. Good luck with your writing!

      October 28, 2011
  67. Love this post! I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year and am a little freaked, haha. I’m in Colorado too, maybe we’ll run into each other at one of the meet ups. Good luck on your novel!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by Europhile. It would be great to meet a fellow Nano’er at a Colorado meetup. Good luck with NaNoWriMo. It will be a great ride!!

      October 28, 2011
  68. I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time and, while i confess to be more than a little bit intimidated, reading your post is highly encouraging! Also, i LOVE that you’re using a Van Gogh painting as your desktop background – i almost declared an Art History major simply to study postimpressionism out of adoration for his work 🙂
    Good luck with the month of November and all it entails!!

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, Lizzie. I’m so happy tthat you’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I completely understand the whole intimidation factor. Just remember, get words out of your brain and onto the page. The words might stink some days, but the ideas will flow and that’s the important part. You’ll discover ideas you didn’t even know were lurking in the dark recesses of your brain. Enjoy every moment of November.

      October 28, 2011
  69. Good luck! I hope your fingers are mighty and your words perfectly placed. I love the thrill of NaNoWriMo, but I can’t participate this year. I just don’t have the time. However, some great stuff has come out of it for me in the past. Go for broke!

    October 28, 2011
  70. I’m thinking about doing this, you have offered some inspiration to a young, cluttered, delusional college kid who still thinks a dream job is plausible. Dream big right?

    October 28, 2011
    • PattyJay, I’m so glad to have offered some inspiration. I’m no longer a young college kid. The cluttered and delusional are still in question most days. 🙂 However, please keep thinking that the dream job is plausible. It might not be with the “Great American Novel,” but if you want to be a writer, there are always ways to make money doing what you love. Just keep in mind that you may need to broaden your definition of “writer” and it may include gigs that you never dreamed you’d undertake. Belive me, I’ve gotten paid to write about things I didn’t even know existed. But it’s all writing and it’s all part of the journey. Good luck with NaNo and with writing in general.

      October 28, 2011
  71. lynnjake #

    This will be my fourth NaNo effort. I actually finished one year. I keep thinking I’ll get some ideas sketched out before it begins this year, but so far nothing! It’s so scary to sit down and just start typing, yet that’s what I usually do! It’s such a thrill to see it take off and kind of bump along with it. I can hardly wait!

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, lynnjake. I know exactly what you mean about seeing things take off and watching them bump along. Some nights I finish my writing session and say, “where in the world did that idea come from.” Those are the ideas that make me keep coming back for more. Good luck to you this year.

      October 28, 2011
  72. Wrote THE AMERICAN POLYGAMIST during 2009 NaNoWriMo. I am rejoing the stampede because I have a novel that has refused to be put down with pencil and paper.

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Joseph. What a great accomplishment to finish a novel in 2009. I hope that this year goes as well for you as the last NaNo. Keep me posted on your progress.

      October 28, 2011
  73. I’ve been contemplating participating in NaNoWriMo as well… you’ve reminded me that I have yet to make a decision.

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, theliterarylollipop. I hope you decide to go for it this year with NaNo. It’s such a fun experience to know that you’re aligned with other writers across the world. Good luck and happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  74. Now I feel better about my two year old seed. I think I might actually attempt NaNoWriMo this year!

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, Natasia. I believe that some seeds blossom right away and others take years in the making before they gel into something usable. I hope that you do attempt NaNo. It makes for a fun and invigorating November. Good luck,

      October 28, 2011
  75. sallyjeangenter #

    Thank you, Sara. I’ve downloaded your desktop calendar. I’m in! NaNoWriMo here I come. I’ve procrastinated on my novel long enough.

    October 28, 2011
    • I’m so glad that you’re using NaNo to start writing that novel. Like i said, sometimes all it takes is a deadline to make things happen. Good luck to you.

      October 28, 2011
  76. SJ #

    Pretty, pretty calendar.
    Good luck to a fellow NaNoWriMo-er!

    October 28, 2011
  77. Oooh Nanowrimo. I never get beyond the 3,000-word mark. I don’t know where to do — just write and see where it goes or plan everything first? But I hope I get to finish a novel this year.

    October 28, 2011
    • It’s tough to keep slogging along after you get past those opening chapters. I’m an obssessive planner, so outline and crazy notes jotted down in the middle of the night about upcoming scenes keep me going. Although I know many pantsers complete NaNo too. Good luck to you this year.

      October 28, 2011
  78. Sara,
    I would love to participate in this at some point. I have a daughter who is 2 and another daughter who is 4 weeks, otherwise, I would be right with you.
    Good luck to you.
    I’ve done the 3daynovel – http://www.3daynovel.com – and “finished” each time, though my manuscripts are also hidden away under lock and key. Its a great way to get a rough rough draft though. Keep us posted.

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks, Bob. I know the time and energy challenge that young children present. Kudos to you on completely the 3daynovel challenge multiple times. Thanks for the encouragement, and enjoy those beautiful kiddos.

      October 28, 2011
  79. Wow! You’re goal-oriented and what you shared inspired me a lot! Hoping to read one of your books soon! 🙂 Congrats for being Freshly Pressed 🙂 More Power!

    ~curlybookworm.wordpress.com

    October 28, 2011
  80. Thank you for this post. I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and I was getting rather scared now that it’s very close! I appreciate the encouragement.

    October 27, 2011
    • I’m happy to provide some encouragement. Don’t forget, you’re not alone. Thousands of us will be snarfing down leftover Halloween candy and tapping away on the keyboard in the wee hours! Enjoy November.

      October 27, 2011
  81. Best wishes, fellow NaNoWriMo author!

    October 27, 2011
  82. i envy you! i’ve always aspired to write a novel, but my attention span is that of a 10-year-old. i can never seem to focus on a single topic or storyline for more than a day or so. blogging has helped…and i plan to continue blogging as a bit of practice for maybe one day writing a novel. thanks for the inspiration and good luck!
    http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks, Eva. Blogging everyday (or even every week) takes a great sense of discipline. Kudos to you on that. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 27, 2011
  83. It irritates me at a deep, even subterranean, level that everybody these days thinks they can write (and perhaps even get a little gold star for their efforts!), but I still appreciate the almost martial pathology of NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure why it has to be jingoistic (i.e. national) or, even worse, in November (who does anything in November?), but I appreciate the essential esprit. Heck, I may use all the unabashed enthusiasms of the talentless and creatively bereft to drive me to even greater heights of fictional brilliance. Too bad I have job as a university professor as well and should really be writing something interesting about the “real” world…

    October 27, 2011
    • I don’t know about you, but I eat a lot in November thanks to leftover Halloween candy and Thanksgiving. I figure a nightly turn at the keyboard will keep my hand out of the trick-or-treat basket. So even if I don’t reach those heights of “fictional brilliance,” at least I’ll be few pounds lighter and feel like I’ve scratched that itch of the story that rolls around in my brain. Thanks for stopping by, Number Six.

      October 27, 2011
  84. Great Post. I love your calendar to keep you on track, if you can see it everyday you will get this done. Good uck to you!

    October 27, 2011
  85. Good luck, Sara. I’m busy polishing up my first novel, so I think I’ll focus on that, but I’m going for the blog a day idea. This sounds like a fun challenge! I’m curious why your first attempt went in the drawer. Of course, I wonder sometimes if I should do that with this first manuscript…

    October 27, 2011
    • A good question – maybe a good idea for a post, too. In short, the genre (although it fascinated me) wasn’t right for me. My 2009 NaNo novel had a paranormal bent to it. Although I love the concept and may revisit it someday, I’m more of a literary/historical fiction gal. The idea kept me awake at night, but my lack of connection with the genre was really apparent in the quality of the writing. Believe me, in my weaker moments I peek into the virtual drawer and wonder if I might revive it. I’ll never say never! Best of luck to you with the polishing. Having just finished final edits on my non-fiction book, I know that polishing often takes more discipline than getting the first draft down.

      October 27, 2011
  86. Hi .. I like the diarrhea example also! I started my blog last year, after a lifetime promise of “someday” writing! And lots of ideas, and then I reach the getting stuck part. I’m scared and excited about writing a chapter each day. About what? About who? Plot? It is very reassuring to read your comments .. thank you! Honesty and encouragement are very precious to us “wannabe writers”. 🙂

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Anne-Marie. Whether you’re blogging or writing a novel, you’ve still moved out of the wannabe category and into the writer category. So don’t sell yourself short. I look forward to hearing about your writing adventures.

      October 27, 2011
  87. no
    i can’t join it

    October 27, 2011
  88. Heather Parks #

    Thanks for the calendar, its quite beautiful. I’m also doing NaNo this year (well, duh, why else would I be using the calendar), and its my first time. First time for NaNo, but also my first attempt at a novel. I’m a long time writer, but never taken the plunge for a novel.

    October 27, 2011
    • Good luck to you, Heather. Writing a novel (or any long manuscript for that matter) is a marathon. However, NaNoWriMo is a great sprint to get the creative juices flowing. Enjoy every minute of it.

      October 27, 2011
  89. I’m just in love with the nickname that the title has been given, “NaNoWriMo,” its so catchy, creative, and clever! I was actually never aware that there was a NaNoWriMo, and that it was in November! I’m very pleased to hear that such a month exists, I think it is quite a motivating factor for those aspiring writers to devote November to pursuing their novelistic endeavors. You seem very driven in your pursuits, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck as you type away this upcoming month! I encourage you to take that manuscript that is trapped in your drawer and share it with the world! Get it published, get it exposed! Don’t let your commendable efforts go to waste! Thank you for sharing this post with us!

    If it is okay with you, I would like to mention my own blog that I just started and share the link with your readers. It’s called Logic Meets Reason and it would be great if you and your readers could comment, subscribe, and take a look at the pieces I have posted! Here is the link: http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com.

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by. I’m excited to check out your blog. Best of luck to you.

      October 27, 2011
      • Thank you so much for your support! I really appreciate it! 🙂

        October 28, 2011
  90. bearcat8 #

    I’m inpsired! I love the challenge and can’t wait to ge started on something of my own. Thanks! Feel free to drop by my travel blog and leave any feedback, would be much appreciated.

    http://bearcat8.wordpress.com/

    Thanks again for the post! Great stuff!

    October 27, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by bearcat8. I love that about writers – we usually inspire one another. Have a great November!

      October 28, 2011
  91. “If you don’t get it down (in all of its painful and ugly glory), you can’t edit and edit AND edit to something wonderful.”

    This is so true! It’s what got me past 40k words, which is about where I stopped and gave up for six months to drown in the all-consuming realisation of how bad a writer I was, how huge a task writing a novel is and how much better off I’d be if I just set my sights on more sensible goals…like finding a desk job and living without hope.

    Thanks for the post! Go great guns beautiful – create something that’ll change the world. Why not? 😉

    October 28, 2011
  92. 2009 was also my first Nano year, and although I didn’t finish (21k), it was exactly what I needed to get back into writing – something that I had long been missing because “life” got in the way. I also found that I need the pressure of a deadline. I did Nano again last year (and won!) and am now excited for my third year. Good luck with your Nano novel!

    October 28, 2011
    • Congrats to you on your 2010 NaNo win, penthepages. Be sure to let me know how this year goes.

      October 28, 2011
  93. I’ll be going through the madness as well. I hope to get through it this year. I couldn’t last year because of grad school.

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Alysia. Glad to hear that you survived grad school in 2010. And welcome to the NaNo madness this year.

      October 28, 2011
  94. Sounds like a good idea for those of us who have a novel in them:)

    October 28, 2011
  95. Congratulations works. Hopefully it will finish the project.

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks, Brain. It’s always nice to receive congratulations on a job not yet started. Gives that extra push of motivation – “Well, they already congratulated me. Now I have to finish the thing!” Have a great November and thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  96. contemplatinglifetm #

    This is my first year doing it. I’m at college at the moment so it’ll be fun trying to juggle lessons and writing! Thank you for the calender as well, this is definitely going to be downloaded 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, contemplatinglifetm. I can’t imaging juggling college lessons and writing. I did so much writing in college, I couldn’t have spared another word to write a novel too. Kudos to you for taking on the NaNo challenge. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
  97. Good luck! And I agree with your thoughts. I often think Nanowrimo’s real purpose is to provoke – to push, to make people write something that might otherwise just sit there on the ‘I’ll get around to it one day’ list. Great literature? Possible, eventually. Probably not in the month. But as you point out, it’s a ‘first draft’ – and there’s old adage, that a ‘bad first draft’ is always better than ‘no first draft’.

    I won’t be joining it myself. November is traditionally my contract deadline month – and I’ve got a book due to my publishers in a couple of weeks which is going to absorb all my time (was the same last year, and the year before that…) All I can do is cheer from the sidelines, though I’ve been posting a few hints and tips on my blog in the hope of assisting.

    I hope all goes well for you – and, indeed, for the other Nanowrimo authors.

    Matthew Wright
    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com
    http://www.matthewwright.net

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck with your November deadline, Matthew. It sound like even though you won’t be joining the NaNoWriMo ranks, you’ve still got a novel cooking in your head. I loved your post on NaNoWriMo through spreadsheet. Spreadsheets make me swoon! Have a great November.

      October 28, 2011
  98. Best of luck Sara, I’ve been telling my students about the writing month in the hopes it will inspire them… we will see. I’m writing my blog about English for them. I look forward to seeing your book out one day soon, Good Luck!!! 🙂
    Wayne

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Wayne. I must say that those who teach the English language (and those who learn it as a second language) often master its nuances on a greater level than those of us who take it for granted as our first language. Kudos to you on your teaching efforts and keep up the fascinating travels. What a wonderful life!

      October 28, 2011
  99. First off, you already have snow?!

    Great post! This will be my first year participating in NaNo and I’m very excited! I have been scouring the internet for tips and advice and reading other people’s thoughts on NaNo and I just can’t believe that it’s almost here!

    Thanks for the wonderful calender you made up, I will definitely be using it! 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Yes, snow. No palm tress or bare feet for me (or my kids while trick or treating in the snow tonight!) Have a wonderful November and enjoy every minute of NaNoWriMo.

      October 28, 2011
  100. Good luck on NaNo… I’m doing it again this year and I’m super excited!!!

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you too, When Your Spirit Gets Weak. I hope your spirit stays strong during November. I look forward to hearing about your writing adventures.

      October 28, 2011
  101. enjirux #

    “NaNoWriMo is the mandatory diarrhea-of-the-brain exercise.”

    that made me laugh out loud: it’s one of the best description that I’ve ever read 🙂 I found NaNoWriMo incredibly liberating – I finally allow myself to write a true first draft and embrace it with all its painful dialogs and describtions.

    “If you don’t get it down (in all of its painful and ugly glory), you can’t edit and edit AND edit to something wonderful.”

    amen to that and good luck with NaNoWriMo 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, too, if you’re taking on the challenge again this year, enjirux. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  102. I’m going to try it for the first time ever! But mine will be in Spanish, so I will be looking for my peeps today. Good Luck and have lots of fun!!!

    October 28, 2011
  103. This will be my third year doing NaNo! I won my first year and last year…I wrote for two days and then got distracted and ended up forgetting about it. I’m hoping that this year I win again. Thank you for that calendar! I will be setting it as my desktop background so I stay focused and hopefully it will keep me from getting distracted.

    October 28, 2011
    • I’m happy that the calendar is useful for you, LuckyXIII. Have a great November and happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  104. LKD #

    Hi Sara,

    I’m not a NaNo Newbie, but I plan for 2011 to be my first finish. Please feel free to kick my butt if I don’t write 2K a day!

    Happy writing and good luck to you!

    Lorna

    October 28, 2011
    • You hold me accountable and I’ll do the same, LKD. Good luck to you on your first finish. I’ll be thinking of you.

      October 28, 2011
  105. Hi! I’m also doing NaNo this year, and it’s my first! It’s also my first time to try and make a novel. I’ve always been a poet so this one’s a really tough challenge. I wish both of us the best of luck for this year’s NaNo. 😀

    October 28, 2011
  106. Good luck on Nanowrimo! It’s actually very fun, even if a bit challenging. I did it two years ago and now that same novel might be picked up by a number of agencies. Exciting stuff.
    So, it does indeed lead to quite good things.

    October 28, 2011
  107. Good luck to you! This is my first time joining NaNoWriMo and I feel a little out of my depth. I’ve never tried writing so much before but I shall try my best.

    October 28, 2011
    • “I think I can. I think I can.” Just keeping plugging along, Polar, and you’ll make it. Congrats on taking on the NaNo 2011 challenge. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
      • Hi Sara, it’s been a week and I’ve happy to say that I’ve managed to write 2000 words everyday. It was difficult at first and for the first few days I just barely meet 2000 words.

        What story are you writing? I’m trying to write a detective story.

        November 7, 2011
      • Congrats to you on the 2,000 words/day, Polar. I was hoping to hit that, but I’ve been hovering around the official NaNo totals of 1,667/day. Detective stories – I’m fascinated. Modern times or Sherlock Holmes-type detective. Tell me more. My latest novel is historical fiction.

        November 7, 2011
      • I like to read detective stories but I never seriously thought about writing them because the twists and turns seem too difficult for me to plot out. Then NaNoWriMo came and I thought “Why not?”

        I thought that since I’m on a tight schedule, I should write about something that I know fairly well. So I set the story in my home country (Singapore) and in modern times. I initially toyed with the idea of setting it in the 1970-1980s. In the end, I decided not to because I was afraid that I would mix up the time periods and I would end up spending more time doing research than writing.

        What about your historical fiction? I would like to know more about it if that’s okay with you.

        November 9, 2011
  108. I mostly write short opinions pieces for blog or website (www.soulfulexpression.net) or poetry. But I aspire to one day write the next great novel (if only in just to myself). Just like you, I too, am a stickler for deadlines and quotas to motivate myself. I’m having a time trying to put together a local book club to “motivate” my reading. Lol. This upcoming novel writing month my be just what I need to spur me towards that “Great Novel”just waiting within me. Thanks for this piece!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, nasheens. I hope you find all the inspiration you need to push you toward finishing that novel during NaNoWriMo.

      October 28, 2011
  109. Totally inspiring! I decided to join the challenge for the first time. I just start being a dedicated blogger this year. I really hope that it will be a memorable experience.

    October 28, 2011
    • Kudos to you, klling for taking up blogging and taking on the NaNo 2011 challenge. Please be sure to keep me updated on your progress.

      October 28, 2011
  110. Good for you — I wish I had your determination. Good luck with the writing. Am bookmarking your blog so that I can check back. Congrats on being FP’d!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks, klrs09. Have a great November, and I’ll look forward to your visits.

      October 28, 2011
  111. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I’m doing Nano this year (although I only decided that about a week ago, so am now trying to plan quickly!) – I’ve done it twice before although don’t feel that either of my previous efforts were really worth reading, I’m hoping to do better this time! Thanks for the calendar – I’ll be using it throughout November 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, EudoxiaFriday, and I’m glad the calendar will be useful for you. Be sure to let me know how NaNo goes. Happy writing in November!

      October 28, 2011
  112. “There is something about putting an important acronym title and a deadline on the activity that makes it all the more real.” And, do-able.

    It makes the possibility seem attainable — other people have attempted and succeeded, tried and conquered! 30 days of absolute devotion and focus — intentional, purposeful writing. Excusing the obsession, justifying the “absolute abandon” (as NaNoWriMo refers to it) to writing. I can’t wait. I purposed, over a month ago, to try it this year — I don’t have a lot of experience with fiction, but the beauty of this novel will be that I will be blending fact WITH fiction. I’ll be embellishing the truth of my life. The title is tentative.. but I’m ninety-five percent sure it’s for keeps: Ambivalent.

    Best wishes to you and all other attempters!

    Aun Aqui

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, Aun. I’m sure ‘Ambivalent’ will be a rewarding project for NaNoWriMo. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  113. I’m actually going to participate this November. I think it’s about time I wrote my memoirs from Iraq. I have my outline, my motifs, and themes loaded. I just need to write.

    October 28, 2011
    • Good for you, skeletonfingers. I’m sure you must have seen such ups and down during your time in Iraq. I can think of no better way to work through an experience like that than to write about it. Please let me know how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
  114. I’m participating for the NaNo for the first time this year… I find the idea very daunting. But your breakdown of 2,000 words a day seems like a good one. Little goals make the bigger ones seem less overwhelming. Now I’m excited to get started! Good luck!

    Brianna

    http://cobblestonestreets.wordpress.com/

    October 28, 2011
    • You’re not kidding, Briana. Breaking down the bigger goals is the only way to keep things from spinning out of control. Good luck to you during your first NaNoWriMo and thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  115. JRP #

    Good luck next month! I’m planning (I think) to give it a try, for the first time, also with a novel idea I’ve had floating around for a while. Now if I could just keep the courage up…

    October 28, 2011
    • Think of all the courage floating around the cybersphere during November, JRP. If your courage lags, be sure to stop on by and commiserate with the rest of the NaNo’ers. Good luck to you.

      October 28, 2011
  116. Good luck !!!

    October 28, 2011
  117. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed, and good luck with NaNoWriMo! I’ve been doing it for about five years, I think, and I’ve never finished; I always get distracted by school or something. This year I’m pretty sure I won’t finish, but I realize I’ve not been writing since school started up again, and I need the excuse to just tap into my creative side rather than being wholly immersed in my field all the time. Grad school can suck your soul out if you let it, and I love that NaNoWriMo will connect me to others (like you!) that remind me of the other geeks out there in the wider world. Hope you make your word goal! I’ll be cheering for you through the month!

    October 28, 2011
    • I’m so happy that I have fallen onto your “other geeks out there in the wider world” radar, Spiritual Implications. We writing geeks need to stick together. I know how draining grad school can be, and I’m happy that you’ll have an outlet in NaNoWriMo even if you don’t finish. Have a great November!

      October 28, 2011
      • We do need to stick together! If only so we can create the weirdest run-together stories possible…one of my favorite icons from an earlier NaNo that I saved is that “writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” True story, I think.

        October 29, 2011
  118. First time NaNOWriMo attempt (along with a fairly new blog as well) – still getting used to the idea (as previously expressed) of ‘putting myself out there’ for the world to see…but I am getting anxious/nervous/sweaty just thinking about actually writing a novel. I like your calendar idea – I’m particularly excited about the accountability that comes with support, forums, etc.

    Here’s to words – may they always remain meaningful (even when we have to come up with 1667 of them)…
    Grace!

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, Grace. “Putting yourself out there for the world to see” is the hardest part of being a writer. Even though I get paid to write on a daily basis, I still have that cringe of self-doubt each time I hit the send button and shoot something out into cyberspace for my editors. Have a great NaNo2011. Be sure to stop by and let me know how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
  119. littleguurrl #

    Good luck! I have been doing NaNoWriMo for the past 7 years and not once have I finished. Here’s to this being the year!

    October 28, 2011
    • This is your year, littleguurrl! I can feel it. I’ll be thinking of you in November. Best of luck to you.

      October 28, 2011
  120. jessiepingle #

    Great post! I’ve never finished any of my ideas and when my coworkers told me about NaNoWriMo, I jumped on it. I love the concept of just vomiting out words (great imagery, right?) and not worrying about editing and reading over what you’ve written…those things are what always stopped me from finishing! And I love the accountability too…I definitely need it! Good luck!! 🙂

    October 28, 2011
  121. Ooh, the calender will sure be useful ^_^ Thanks for sharing, and good luck with NaNo!!

    October 28, 2011
    • I’m so glad the calendar will be useful to you. Have a great NaNo 2011!

      October 28, 2011
  122. First, congratulations on your Freshly Pressed. (The beautiful calendar you posted probably helped, it’s lovely.)

    Second, best of luck on your NaNoWriMo. You sound very determined, and planning should help.

    Lastly, I retweeted a Huffington Post article last night (@cdeminski) about Indie Books that are self-published and are best sellers. Although I only recognized a few of the authors in the list, I did still recognize a few.

    NaNoWriMo is a great catalyst for novelists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see those manuscripts coming out digitally on Amazon and elsewhere next year.

    Best of luck!
    Carol

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Carol. NPR just ran a story yesterday on the future of Indie Books, too. The publishing world certainly has changed a lot in the digital age. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  123. I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year, after spending the last three years thinking about it. I realized that putting off my novel until I had time to write it meant it would never happen. The “one day” novel, they call it. Like you said, there’s nothing like accountability!

    Lovely calendar, too. Thank you.

    October 28, 2011
    • Congrats to you on starting your “one day” novel, ksgarvin. Be sure to let me know who NaNo goes.

      October 28, 2011
    • Congrats to you on starting your “one day” novel, ksgarvin. Be sure to let me know how NaNo goes.

      October 28, 2011
  124. This is so great! My mom is prepping for it now as well!

    October 28, 2011
  125. Love the calendar! Setting it as my background to motivate me through the month.

    October 28, 2011
    • I’m so glad that the calendar will help motivate you, Bookslide. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  126. I’m taking on NaNoWriMo this year, for the first time, and some days I think my strategy of starting from utter scratch (we’re a few days from starting, and I don’t have an idea of where to begin, let alone a computer of my own to write hypothetical novel on) will doom me to failure, while other days I think it’s going to challenge me in ways I’ve never thought possible to face until now: 2,000 words a day, and where and when will I write them, between school and travel and learning another language in a country I’m not all that familiar with? Best to not htink about it, I think. Classic greenhorn/newbie philosophy, likely. We’ll see, but I might flail and look for tenuous support wherever I can find it next month.

    good luck!

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, tradersolstice. It sounds like you’re juggling a lot of exciting. By sure to let me know how November works out for you.

      October 28, 2011
  127. Abigail #

    I thought I’d be the only person on the planet who would write such horrible first drafts. I’m beginning to force myself to not know everything and just get it all down on paper, then to edit the life into it. 🙂 Good to know I’m not alone.

    About NaNoWriMo, I’ve always wanted to. I just don’t know with all of the projects I have due in November if I can. That makes me very sad, because I want to. 😥 Maybe. I still have thee days to decide.

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Abigail. Yes, it’s a rare writer who doesn’t write terrible first drafts. But letting the story take on a life of its own (outside of your brain) is such a great first step. Let me know if you decide to take on NaNoWriMo. Either way, happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  128. Great goals. Edit that thing down under 90k though or it won’t make it out of the slushpile!

    October 28, 2011
    • Absolutely. That’s why I have 100K goal. Once I cut the superluous NaNo rambling sections, it should clock in around 85,000. Thanks for stopping by, Benjamin.

      October 28, 2011
  129. Great post, thanks a lot for sharing and good luck 🙂

    October 28, 2011
  130. Good luck! I never make it all the way through when I do the national poetry month challenge. I will def give this one a try!

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you too, WayWordBound. Kudos to you for even attempting NaPoWriMo – I’m envious of poets. You can boil things down to the barest elements and make them sound so beautiful. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  131. I’m doing NaNo too! I’m on the youth site, since I couldn’t choose (apparently I could do either) and the youth site looked more interesting. The forums too 🙂 It’s my first year doing NaNo, so I’ll be back here!!! 🙂

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck with you first NaNo, paperclipgirl. Let me know how November goes for you.

      October 28, 2011
      • Thanks! Good luck to you, too 🙂 I think it’s amazing you bother to respond to practically every single comment on your blog!!! And NaNo is going all right. It’s a bit frustrating at times. Especially when you have about 7,000 of your needed 16,670… Ah, well. Hopefully I’ll be magically inspired… 🙂

        November 10, 2011
  132. I’m a NaNo newbie myself this year. I’m terrified and excited at the same time. My stomach is jumping around, waiting for me to get on with it already…best of luck to you!

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Amanda. I hope that you’ll find NaNo to be everything you hoped for. Keep me posted on your progress.

      October 28, 2011
  133. I don’t know Sara, does it make sense doing the nanowrimo if I’m already trying to meet a deadline……is it possible? Lovely calendar…..great effort you put in to do that!

    October 28, 2011
    • Juggling deadlines can be tricky, Neel. I guess it all depends on how big the original deadline is. I squeeze in weekly deadlines during NaNo, but find it hard to complete huge projects at the same time. Thanks for your nice comments on the calendar. Have a great November.

      October 28, 2011
  134. Thank you for the encouraging words, i send them right back.. love the calendar. I will definitely use it too..Success is already here and NaNoWriMo is almost here so let’s do it!

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck to you, too. I can’t believe how NaNoWriMo snuck up on us this year. Enjoy November.

      October 28, 2011
  135. Great post and best of luck! I loved feeling the inspiration and defeat of procrastination in your article. Looking forward to your novel!

    I will definitely subscribe to your blog. Have a wonderful day!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Oh God. “Defeat of procrastination” is a daily battle in everyone’s life – but definitely in mine. I’m so glad that I sound convincing in my quest to eliminate my feet dragging. And sounding convincing is the first step, right? Have a wondeful November.

      October 28, 2011
  136. Good luck! I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year. A little overwhelmed already but looking forward to the challenge and seeing if i can actually finish something I start for a change. I’m looking forward to reading your updates as you go along.

    Jacqui

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you Jacqui. I look forward to hearing more about your first NaNo experience. Keep me posted.

      October 28, 2011
  137. Ash #

    Hi Sara,
    I will also be taking part in this and I love the idea of your calendar. Thanks for the post!

    Ash

    October 28, 2011
  138. This was a nice post. You’re a professional writer, and you’re planning your work quite well.
    I’m not a writer, but I like to write, seems to me a really effective way of expressing oneself. I’ve been stuck with something I want to write about for the last one year, but it just doesn’t seem to come out. I don’t know why this is happening, but maybe November will be the month that will prove to be the conclusion.

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you in November, eeshan. I hope you find a way to get those words down on paper. I’ll be rooting for you.

      October 28, 2011
      • Thanks! I’ll do my best and I’d love to read your work soon. 🙂

        October 29, 2011
  139. I have never done NaNo before but I intend to do it this year. Thanks for the pretty and useful calendar.

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, notesfromrumbley. Be sure to let me know how NaNoWriMo works out for you.

      October 28, 2011
  140. jesselunsford #

    Definitely looking forward to NaNoWriMo 2011! I completed NaNoWriMo 2010 and when I finished, I knew immediately that it was my greatest feat I’m writing to that point. The story I ended up with was rough, to say the least, but the point was that I stuck it out.

    I am still working on my manuscript from 2010 but it only days away from having the second draft completed. I’m going make all progress possible between now and Nov 1 — because:

    I have another novel in my head, just begging to come out. This is the one that I have always wanted to write. I didn’t attack it last time because … Well… I guess I was to chicken to tackle it on the first go out.

    I intend to follow your blog for progress and motivation. I’m also going to try and encourage my small group of readers and friends as well. So, anybody that thinks about it feel free to stopby. I’m hoping we an all draw some encouragement from each other.

    Good Luck everyone!!!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, jesse. Thats great news about your 2010 NaNo project. I have a love/hate relationship with revisions. It’s such exhausting work, but so worth it when you’ve got a polished manuscript. Good luck on your 2011 project, too. I look forward to hearing about it.

      October 28, 2011
  141. Stef #

    Good luck! I completed my first NaNo in 2009 and am still working on editing it into something more refined. I think it is a great way to force yourself out of any reason you decide not to write or break down those writer’s block barriers. Happy writing!

    October 28, 2011
    • You’re absolutely right, Stef. It’s always easy to find excuses not to write. Unfortunately, my fiction (the currently unpaid work) usually takes a backseat to my non-fiction (the currently paid work). NaNo is a great chance to switch up the priorities. Have a great November.

      October 28, 2011
  142. Good luck in your progress. Like the way you are setting yourself up for success.

    Rock On

    October 28, 2011
  143. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!!!

    October 28, 2011
  144. I would love take part in this but I’m afraid I’m an incredibly slow writer.

    October 28, 2011
    • Slow or not, it’s great that you are writing. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  145. Hi, Sara,
    I’m new to blotting and websites (personal ones), but I can hardly wait to blog with you. Tell me more about the contest you’re prepping for. Sounds goof. How did you do the cool calendar? I haven’t read your bio yet so that’s next. My bio is on my website :spaghetti http://www.elizabethhauser.us. Talk more later! Would love to share work..yours and mine.

    October 28, 2011
  146. Wow! What an amazing feat. I feel inspired enough to finally write myself. (although still terrified) Thanks for this post!

    October 28, 2011
  147. Good luck on your NaNo! I am doing for the first time. I figured since I’m not in classes (I’m a graduate film student w/ screenwriting as my focus) this would be a great time to attempt it. But like you, I have kids – five to be exact – 9 months to 10 years; no job, but a household to run; soccer practice and school stuff for the boys; a hubby; blogs to run; and a short script due by December. I don’t see myself sleeping.
    I have no idea what my novel is yet – i have three ideas. I wish i had an outline to follow, but I don’t for any of them. I could definitely use a writing buddy!

    October 28, 2011
    • Sounds like you’re a busy girl, Siren. Have a great month and good luck with the script deadline in December, too.

      October 28, 2011
  148. Hi Sara,
    This is my first time to visit your blog. I like to also say thank you for the calender. I’m also writing for NaNoWriMo. Good Luck to you!

    October 28, 2011
  149. Personally, I’m just prepping to hopefully write one really great, 10,000 wordish story I’m researching. Have no idea how you guys turn out a novel in a month. But more power to you.

    October 28, 2011
    • Best of luck with the 10K story, jeharrington. I’ve envious of those how can write a short story/novella. I feel like I’m just settling in at 10K and then I have to wrap it up. Have a great November.

      October 28, 2011
  150. D.J. Lutz #

    Going for my third Nano experience. You are right when it becomes the most productive month of the year. I usually post short stories otherwise, but someday…I will actually edit those first two novels (and hopefully this next one) so that real people might read them and not start drinking heavily.

    Best of luck to you, too!

    October 28, 2011
    • I love the “drinking heavily” line, DJ. That’s the way I feel about the hidden in a drawer first novel. I would take a stiff drink for most to enjoy it in its current state. I hope you have a great NaNo 2011. Happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  151. Hi, Sara!
    I love your blog! I’m really new to blogging and personal websites. I have both now, but I’m still very green. Thanks to you for sharing about NaNoWriMo! I haven’t subscribed to Writer’s Digest, and sadly, have been reading a lot of stand alone books on fiction, specifically, novel craft, but have not read any of the great journals and digests out there for writers. So, what I’m saying is, I knew nothing about this. The closest thing I’ve seen recently is a 72 hour write-a-thon held on Labor Day weekend. I’ve looked at so many sites lately I couldn’t tell you for sure which organization sponsors this, but I believe it’s Willamette Writers, the largest writers organization in Oregon. I have just joined them, and have not attended any meetings, which I probably won’t be able to do very often, due to all the other commitments in my life, but I would like to “meet” with other writers online. I live an hour away from the closest chapter, and an hour and a quarter from the next closest, which should explain why, with commuting to work about 130 mi. roundtrip for work each day, I don’t have a lot of time for more driving.
    Sara, I live in Oregon, Florence to be specific. I have just started my own website, where you can read a little about me. The website is: http://www.elizabethhauser.us

    There’s directions to go to my blog from there, also. I only had a minute to read a little of your bio today (at work), but it looks like you live in Colorado.
    You’ve inspired me! I had an outline sketched out for a third novel (I’m editing the first one, still, have written a few chapters of a second one, plus its outline, but I haven’t actually written anything on #3, which makes it ideal for this challenge. I’m going to GO FOR IT!!!!

    If you read my website, you will see that I am wanting to start an online writing group. I am used to working with and learning from people I’ve never met in person, because I spent several years attending University of Phoenix online for my BSN and three Master’s degrees. I think it can actually be an advantage NOT to “see” the person. That way, we’re influenced only by a person’s personality as it comes across in their written communication, not their looks, the way they dress, etc.

    Anyway, if you think that’s something you would like to do, let’s talk. I would love to share your work with you, and share mine with you. You sound like we may have a lot of the same personality characteristics, from what little I’ve read so far. You’re determined and a relatively new writer. I have not been published, yet. In fact, I am very new to writing as an immersion, but it’s the direction I’m going. I’m a nurse at this point just to support my writing habit.

    Thanks for putting me on to NaNoWriMo! I look forward to joining your blog. I would love to have you and any of your followers join mine, if it interests you. After a couple of days of wallowing around onscreen, I decided to focus my blog on my journey from becoming a writer to an author. I may not get to write every single day, but I expect to write 4-5 times a week at least.

    I’ll talk more with you later. 🙂

    October 28, 2011
  152. My fiction writing also is heavy in dialogue and sparse in description. This post really encourages me. I didn’t know about National Write a Novel book. I have needed something like this. Great post!

    October 28, 2011
    • Thanks, brinkelizabeth. I think that many first drafts are dialogue heavy. It’s an easy way to work out the internal quirks of the scene without bogging down the flow of the narrative with description. Then you can go back in and beef up the descriptive passages to really bring those five senses to life. Happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  153. Best of luck to you! This will be my first year, and fiction is a huge departure from what I’m used to writing (technical and business). It’ll be a challenge, but I’m doing it because it motivation to finally buckle down and put words to paper instead of just coming up with ideas that never go anywhere. Fifty thousand words is a big mountain to climb, but I think I’m ready for it. Hopefully, I’ll see you and all of the other “winners” at the top!

    October 28, 2011
    • Mikwi, I understand the how it feels to walk that path less traveled into the world of fiction. My background is in journalism and PR writing and I’ve published in the non-fiction world. That’s why I love the challenge of taking on a work of fiction. Good luck to you. Let me know how it goes.

      October 28, 2011
  154. I’ve been participating in Nanowrimo since 2007 (I believe) and I was successful ever time. It was a great feeling to accomplish the word count I set myself everyday. The only problem is I haven’t participated in the last year and only because I’ve gotten so busy. I’ve been thinking about giving it a shot again this year but the fear of not having enough time is stopping me. I really wish there was more than 24 hours a day.

    October 28, 2011
    • I could use 56 hours in each of my days, Phoenix. In spite of that pesky 24-hour limit, I sometimes feel like I’m packing in more than is possible in that time. I hope you decide to get back into the NaNo groove this year. The more of us out there, the better. Happy writing!

      October 28, 2011
  155. OK, I have been deliberately hiding from NaNoWriMo. Why… In my head, I am afraid to commit.. afraid I will spoil the novel in my head by writing it down, but I know in my heart that I want to, that I need to. This may just be the boost I need. So I guess I have 3 days to make some kind of plan, character sketches etc.. wish me luck folks.
    http://www.maggielr.com is my writing blog

    October 28, 2011
    • Good luck, Maggie. We all have that fear – that writing it down might make it less beautiful than it is in our heads. But we’ll never know unless we get it out there for the world to see. Best of luck to you and enjoy November. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
  156. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo since 2007 and I have to say it’s always something I look forward to. I just pour my heart and soul (and probably a lot of gibberish) into my story.

    My strategy is to always get a big head start. Every year, the middle to late November I lose a few days of writing. This year’s going to be wild, as it’s the first year I’m doing it out of college and I got a full-time job to worry about.

    Best of luck to you! A tool I like to use sometimes is called Write or Die. It’s a nifty little program that allows you to set a goal (minutes or words) and then you just write! Beware, if you stop typing for too long…you start losing words! The online version is free to use.

    October 28, 2011
    • Hi, Gates. Thanks for stopping by. I love Write or Die – I actually talked about it in yesterdays post (Silencing Your Internal Editor). Good luck with NaNo this year and don’t let that full-time job get you down. Happy writing.

      October 28, 2011
  157. gud luck………….
    A novel in one month? Is it possible?

    October 28, 2011
    • It’s possible. No one says it will be pretty, but it’s more about the exercise than ending up with a ready-to-be-published piece at the end of the month. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 28, 2011
      • I tried to complete short story in one day.It is possible.But for a novel I dont think i will be able to do it in one month .Its too much ask for me.
        All the best for your work………..

        October 28, 2011
      • Thanks for the well wishes, vincitore117.

        October 28, 2011
  158. Pretty, pretty calendar.
    Good luck to a fellow NaNoWriMo-er!

    October 29, 2011
  159. Love this calendar image, and will copy it to inspire me. I am attempting my first NaNoWriMo (the couple of people I have told have looked at me quizzically when I mentioned this moniker). I’m hoping that striving for each day’s word count will help to silence that inner voice that says “this is horrible, really truly horrible!” with every sentence I write.
    Good luck to you, and happy writing.

    October 29, 2011
    • Just keep typing and ignore that pesky inner voice. We all have it and we all have to work hard to shut it up. Happy writing!

      October 31, 2011
  160. Wow great post! I’m attempting, no, completing (think positive!) my first NaNoWriMo this year, and I need all of the encouragement I can get! I too am a sucker for accountability, so it’s great to read your advice. Thanks so much and good luck, see you on the other side!

    October 29, 2011
    • Yes, think positive. I hope to hear from you in the thick of it, too AND on the other side. Good luck to you on your first NaNoWriMo attempt.

      October 31, 2011
  161. Congratulations on your accomplishments so far! By the way, Sara Gruen, who you mention, used to be my neighbor, and fyi also has young children and a husband needing attention. Story goes that they agreed that he would lock her in a room to force the issue of writing without interruptions real or imagined. Looks like it worked!

    October 29, 2011
    • Thanks for the info on Sara Gruen. What a fascinating neighbor to have. Some days locking myself in a room sounds like just what I need. Have a great November, and thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  162. This will be year 5 for me. Good luck with your project

    October 29, 2011
  163. Hi Sara,

    I’d like to ask on how do you think I should deal with it. I plan to do 30,000 words from November 1 to 3, then try to spend the other days trying to hit the rest of the 20k. Of course, it seems stupid, but those three days are the only times that I have to get access to a computer undisturbed(this depends if everything goes according to plan). Plus, I’m busy and I’m going to write the 20k on an iPhone.

    Do you think I should go with this plan or do you have a somewhat better plan that doesn’t require me to write everyday?

    October 29, 2011
    • Hi, Henshinger. It sounds like you have an amibitious plan in place. You might consider drafting part of the novel in longhand. Pen and paper (although they are much slower than typing) might afford you the flexibility to sneak away. Personally, I can’t type very fast on my iPhone, so long hard would be much quicker for me. Best of luck to you and be sure to let me know how the plan works out.

      October 31, 2011
  164. I haven’t tried this yet probably because of the fear I would fail and I really admire everyone who is taking part. Good luck, you can do it!

    October 29, 2011
    • Thanks for the support, LittleMissVix. We all have that fear of failure. I think it’s very common in writers’ psyches. That’s the wonderful thing about NaNoWriMo – a huge group of people just going for it in order to gets the word out of the brain and onto the page. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  165. cardboardconfines #

    I’ve written several things in the past. Poems, short stories, haiku’s, creative research papers that I hold on to after it’s been graded and improve them for self fulfillment.

    This is the first year I’m attempting NaNoWriMo and I really hope it works out for me well. I’m going to attempt at least 1,700 words each day. When November is complete, I will post my story little by little on my blog [cardboardconfines.wordpress.com] and ask for input from my followers. What I can improve on, what you think would fit in the story, etc.

    I love to write and am constantly reading. NaNoWriMo is giving me an excuse to quit the procrastination and get to writing my “novel”.

    Also, did you create the calendar yourself or is it available on the NaNoWriMo website? I signed up for it back in September, but haven’t browsed around enough to know what everything is.

    -Harley Davis.

    October 29, 2011
    • Hi, Harley. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I did create the calendar myself. The magic of photoshop and illustrator did the trick. I hope that your first NaNoWriMo attempt is all that you hope for. It’s exciting to commit to an entire month of writing abandon. Keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  166. Ahoy fellow WriMo and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I, too, am a first-time participant and I alternate between being exuberant and scared sh*tless that I won’t have the endurance. I’ve also committed to doing the PAD Chapbook Challenge. November should be interesting, indeed.

    I will have a lot of female companionship along the way toward 50K, as a number of ladies from She Writes are participating with me. And my original challenge to join came from a member of my local writers’ critique group who is doing his first NaNo.

    Love your calendar, thanks ! Best wishes and good luck to you and to all your readers who also are WriMos this year !

    Candice

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you too, Candice. It sound like She Writes is a wonderful group that provides some great support and exchange of ideas for its members. And a local critique group, too. You have a brilliant safety net for success. Have a wonderful November and happy writing!

      October 31, 2011
  167. First of all, good luck to you! Until now, I have written articles for a movie magazine and course books for language students and I think it’s fun, but not quite fulfilling … I miss creativity and literary freedom, so when I discovered NaNoWriMo by coincidence, I just went for it! I always had my head full of ideas for a novel, so why not realizing this dream! So, I signed up and now I cannot wait until it’s Tuesday! By the way, love your blog, lots of useful information!

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, sweetkitten. I hope that your first NaNoWriMo experience is wonderful. It’s quite an adventure. Be sure to keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  168. I admire your attitude and determination. I’m a writer and have one book published and two more that I will be self publishing next month. Unlike alot of writers, I can’t do the challenge thing. For me to write, it has to come from within. It can’t be forced, not even in a challenge. I guess each of us has their own way, and if this is good for you, you’ll do fantastic.

    http://valentinedefrancis.blogspot.com

    October 29, 2011
    • We each have our own ways, don’t we? That’s what I find so fascinating about writer. I wish you the best of luck with your self-publishing endeavor. The industry has changed so much – it seems that indie publishing is becoming quite a popular avenue for writers. I’d love to hear about the process and how it works out for you. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  169. Good luck! I’m thinking of giving Nanowrimo a try this year! 🙂

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Mars. I hope that you decide to give it a go with NaNoWriMo this year. Be sure to let me know what you decide.

      October 31, 2011
  170. Hi Sara,
    Great to read about your writing story and your prep for NaNoWriMo. Will you get your husband to look after your boys for the whole of November?! I identify greatly with a lot of your perspective and the challenges of writing with such a busy life…I too have two little boys and a husband, but I am determined to fit my writing in too! I think sometimes writers think of their art as a luxury or indulgence rather than a necessity, and I keep myself going by telling myself it is as important a part of my life as raising children, being a wife, etc. Maybe next year I’ll do NaNoWriMo too! Good luck and I’ll look forward to seeing how you get on. (PS – Colorado looks great – we moved from the UK to New York a year ago and I’m loving it but I certainly don’t have the view that you do outside my office window!)
    Applepip – http://www.applesofmyeye.com

    October 29, 2011
    • Hi, Apples of my Eye. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we all have crazy busy lives, don’t we. I have the same issues with putting my fiction on the back burner because it feels like an indulgence. I do all of my writing after my kids go to be or before everyone wakes up in the morning (or both). It means a lot less sleep, but it’s what satisfies me and helps me regain a little piece of myself after a long day. How has New York been treating you since your move?

      October 31, 2011
      • Hi Sara – New York has been great thanks, if a little erratic in its weather patterns! Hurricanes, hailstorms, earthquakes and record-breaking heatwaves – all makes life interesting. Good luck with the writing and I’ll be back to see how you’re getting on.

        October 31, 2011
  171. Good luck with your writing endeavor. I, too, am going to participate in NaNoWriMo and I can’t wait. I really like your calendar–a visual to help cement your commitment.

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you with NaNoWriMO, 4amWriter. I’m sure I’ll be pulling a few 4 am writing stints myself. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  172. Loved your post! The never to see the light of day line made me laugh out loud….might have one of those from last year myself 🙂
    I think the magical thing about Nano is that it both forced me to WRITE and helped me develop better skills in terms of discipline but also just rediscover that whole passion for writing. I’m about to embark on a new journey this year, but this one complicated by an even more pressing work schedule and a creative non-fiction course I’ve started last week – not to mention a somewhat busy social life I imagine is about to be sadly neglected. Good luck with Nano….I’m sure I’ll be checking back for updates!
    Cheers,
    Colin

    October 29, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by Colin. It sound like you’re really busy this year – the creative non-fiction course sounds fascinating. Be sure to give me some more details on that. I’d love to hear how it’s going.

      October 31, 2011
  173. This is my first year signing up! I’ve been working on a novel now since forever, so I’m starting on one completely different for NaNoWriMo. I just have a feeling that I’m not going to keep up with my goal everyday; I tend to get lazy. But I’m hoping that joining this year will encourage me to keep going and to keep writing everyday. I’ll be very proud if I can make it to the end and complete the goal!

    Good luck to you!

    October 29, 2011
    • Good for you for signing up for NaNoWriMo this year, Blue Morpho. Hang in there when the going gets tough. Just remember that there are lots of other writers out there having the same experience.

      October 31, 2011
  174. Me, too. This is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo novel writing in 30 days! If you are interested you can read my prologue at:

    http://metalmanwalking.wordpress.com/prologue

    October 29, 2011
    • Have a great November, lambskinny and best of luck to you during your NaNoWriMo attempt.

      October 31, 2011
  175. Good luck on NaNo!
    This is my 2nd year doing NaNo and I’m throwing myself into a new genre to try and get a niggly MC out of my mind. Fingers crossed this will work as I hope, I’d like to edit the hell out of it and send it off to agents but we’ll see.

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Shen. Keep me posted on your NaNo progress and let me know how that niggly MC is turning out.

      October 31, 2011
  176. stunoss #

    Good luck with it!

    If you fancy uploading and promoting any of it (as a short) then give us a shout at http://www.solqushorts.com

    We’d love to read and promote it

    October 29, 2011
  177. Hi Sara,

    I’m thrilled that I came across your blog. I’ve been “attempting” NaNoWriMo for a few years now but get cold feet and find every excuse in the world not to participate. This is going to be my year where I give it my best shot. I love the calendar. Thanks for sharing with us.

    I look forward to reading your updates.

    Kristy

    October 29, 2011
    • This is your year, Kristy. I can feel it. Although, I don’t know how you do it, training for the marathon in 5 weeks and writing a novel. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of Benny and I hope writing the book is cathartic and helps you through the loss. Have a great November and keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  178. sabclm #

    Great post. I am doing my first try this month – both elated and trepidatious at the same time. I love the calendar and it’s what I had in mind too – a minimum on track perspective as well as a goal target. Looking forward to the challenge. Thanks for posting this article.

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck on your NaNoWriMo attempt, sabclm. Keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  179. Good luck! I’ll live vicariously through you and other WriMos this year – full time work + grad school doesn’t leave time for “fun” writing – but I hope to join you again next year.

    October 29, 2011
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Crysta. It sounds like you have a busy schedule right now. Enjoy November.

      October 31, 2011
  180. I’ll be doign NaNoWriMo for the first time this year – I’m both the most excited and most nervous I’ve ever been. I’m looking forward to an adventure-filled November, although the adventure will probably never leave my desk. 🙂

    October 29, 2011
    • Good luck on your first NaNo attempt, Erin. Enjoy every minute of this dedicated writing time. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  181. I am most definitely taking on nanowrimo this year. Whether I rise to the challenge or not(like last time) remains to be seen. I am determined to see what I can do. I love writing. It makes me feel smart. Hopefully I can produce something entertaining and insightful without making an ass of myself.

    October 29, 2011
    • I always remind myself that if I make an ass out of myself, I’m the only one who has to know about it. Until I get it all cleaned up, fixed up and sent out into the world, of course. Best of luck with NaNo 2011. Thanks for visiting.

      October 31, 2011
  182. Good luck with NaNo – and congratulations on being “freshly pressed” 🙂 🙂
    Maria

    October 29, 2011
  183. hi, thanks for this. this is my first nanowrimo ever. my first attempt at writing a novel ever. i too respond to deadlines and peer pressure and all of that, so i’m trying to publicize to all my friends that i’m doing this. i have a fulltime day job and a young child, so finding the time is the thing. i’m a morning person so i hope to get up an hour earlier each day and go at it…. yikes. fingers crossed, and good luck to all the participants. there’s strength in numbers.

    October 29, 2011
    • Juggling your time is the hardest part of NaNoWriMo, butchie. I find that hour before anyone else is awake works great for me, too. Although never fail, the days that I get up early to write are the days my kiddos’ internal alarm clock goes off early, too. Best of luck to you and keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  184. I haven’t convinced myself to sign up for this yet, but commend you for the committment and wish you success.

    October 29, 2011
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Mary. Have a great November. Let me know what you decide about NaNo.

      October 31, 2011
    • Thanks for visiting, Mary. Let me know what you decide about NaNoWriMo.

      October 31, 2011
  185. Ted #

    I’m currently at the ‘should I?/shouldn’t I?’ stage of NaNoWriMo. I did it last year, and my life was enriched by a toilet-worthy manuscript. Still, if I decide to go for it, I can assure you that your image is the first thing I’ll be stealing. And then your plot devices!

    October 29, 2011
    • I say, “Yes you should!” Let me know what you decide, how it goes and which plot devices you deem worthy of stealing. 🙂

      October 31, 2011
  186. Car_Ann #

    WOW! I was introduced to NaNowriMo 2 weeks ago and decided to take up the challenge. Thanks to you and everyone who commented I am newly motivated to really excited to get this done.

    October 29, 2011
    • Best of luck to you, Car_Ann. NaNoWriMo is quite a ride and a great writing sprint to get your ideas out of your head and onto the paper. Enjoy every minute! Thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  187. Good luck for this year Sara. I have always been writing short stories and have attempted writing novels that never really work out but have had an idea running around in my mind. Maybe its a good time to give this challenge a decent shot 🙂 thanks for the post.

    October 29, 2011
    • Let me know if you decide to take on NaNoWriMo, chrissie. And thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  188. Best of luck to you. I too am a first-timer and attempting this despite having three kids ages 4,2, and 9 months. I am writing a novel inspired by my father who passed away in August. My protagonist does what I wanted to do….kidnap him from the hospital. I am hoping the photos I put up by my computer will do more than just make me cry. Best wishes to everyone. I look forward to hearing more about how everyone’s journey goes. 🙂

    October 29, 2011
    • It sounds like you’re even more busy than I am with three little ones. I’m so sorry to hear about your father, ucanpreschool. I hope your story unfolds exactly as you would have wanted it to happen in real life.

      October 31, 2011
  189. The very best of luck to you, and all the best 😉

    Virtual drawer on your computer … i like that

    Cheers,

    Ron

    October 29, 2011
  190. Wonderful idea! I’ll pass onto some people who might participate. Unfortunately I won’t be able to join the challenge since I am leaving for a 10 days trip with only a small backpack at the beginning of the month.

    October 29, 2011
  191. Ah, I’m just about finished with the penultimate draft of my book so I’m having an extra-special place in my heart for those wanting to write, write, write. Do it! Good luck to all!

    October 29, 2011
    • I love that you say penultimate with such authority, chaddywest. Every time I think I only have one more draft left, I find eight million more things to change. Good luck with your revisions. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  192. livinglearningeating #

    I think I want to try NaNoWriMo this year, too! I’ve never done it before, but I love writing novel manuscripts (I’d love it even more if they turned into real novels, lol) and have been in a bit of a writing funk lately. I’m having such a hard time committing and then making myself write! I have thirty different story beginnings floating around which, in the end, is worth nothing. Just ultimate rubbish.

    But I feel like that will be my problem with NaNoWriMo….which story will I commit to for the month????

    October 30, 2011
    • I say pick one and go for it, livinglearning. You’ll never know if it’s worth writing unless you give it a go. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  193. I did NaNoWriMo last year and failed. I was so unprepared! but it was fun! I’m trying again this year and hopefully I’ll at least make it farther than I did last year. I’ll be blogging about it at http://marieverawrites.wordpress.com! I’m pretty excited, I waited all year for this! (:

    October 30, 2011
    • Best of luck to you this year, Marie. I’m glad you’re joining the fun again. Best of luck with the new blog, too.

      October 31, 2011
  194. I’d love to try this but don’t know where I’d find the job. Does anyone else work full time and manages to do this?

    October 30, 2011
    • You’re right, Megan. It’s hard to find the time. I finish working, finally get my kids in bed, and then sit down at the computer to write. I’m usually exhausted, but once I force myself to start, I’m always glad I did. Happy writing to you.

      October 31, 2011
  195. *time

    October 30, 2011
  196. Desha #

    Excellent! I’ve tried NaNoWriMo several times but never finished. I have many excuses, all great reasons, don’t matter. The thing is to do it. I feel encouraged. Thanks for this.

    October 30, 2011
    • I’m so glad to hear that you feel encouraged. I completely understand about excuses. I have a million of them, but I try not to let them get in the way too much. Have a great November and thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  197. Found you through SW. Love the desktop calendar. Thanks. See you at NaNo

    October 30, 2011
  198. Greetings from Spain. I learned just yesterday evening about NaNo and I just signed up and NaNoing for the first time this year… so it is quite predictable it will turn a total disaster. Anyway I will try and get some fun from it. I am also doing some publicity of the idea on my own blog for spanish novel writers.
    Happy and productive NaNoWriMo

    October 30, 2011
    • I’m so happy to hear that you signed up for NaNoWriMo, Telar. Best of luck with your first attempt. Thanks for visiting and let me know how NaNo goes.

      October 31, 2011
  199. I started a blog to see if I could even write something people would read, not sure I’m ready for the next step quite so soon but you’re certainly an inspiration to have have some goals and be accountaable. Best of luck in November, can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    October 30, 2011
    • I love the look of your blog, followingfunny. I always say, as long as you’re writing, it doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, an article or a blog. Getting the words down is the best practice. Have a great November and thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  200. Sounds like a great project. I also think the challenge from Spain. Good luck!!
    microcambios.com

    October 30, 2011
  201. Hi Sara,

    It will be my very first NaNaWriMo and I’m hopelessly waiting for it. After having been through trials and tribulations of prepping for the contest, I’ve finally managed to make my way out of the blue and stay firm to my decision of taking up the challenge.

    With a 10 hour day job, ‘the 50,000-word novel in a month’ seems like an unattainable task. But now that I’m through your article, I know that my life isn’t just as stretched as yours. I look forward to reading your novel someday. Moreso after I have read your blog. Your blog is undoubtedly a pleasure to read.

    All the best!

    October 30, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, Dreamy Eye, and good luck to you on your first NaNoWriMo. It’s a very exciting month of writing. In spite of your job, I’m confident that you can do it. Enjoy the ride.

      October 30, 2011
  202. Hi Sara,

    Good luck with your NaNoWriMo, and I am very impressed you are already aiming HIGHER than the 50,000! I am about to start my first NaNoWriMo, and am finally hoping to write the novel that I have been thinking and talking about for a couple of years, whilst working full time and revising for exams! Do you have any advice about how to get those words down on the page?

    doctorfitz@wordpress.com

    October 30, 2011
    • Good luck with NaNo, Dr. Fitz. 50,000 went so well during my first NaNo experience, I figured why not push myself this time around. I do all of my writing in the evening after my kids go to bed. Write or Die is a great program for keeping you motivated. You can set it to give you visual prompts or actual erase words if you sit too long aimlessly. Have a great November.

      October 30, 2011
  203. Cat #

    WOW! I am so glad I am not alone. I have had a novel percolating forever and everyone asks me why I haven’t written it yet. I felt it/I wasn’t ready. Now it is starting to bubble over and it is the one I will be working on during NaNo.

    Thanks for the gorgeous calendar, it will be prominent on my writing background.

    Hugs!!

    October 30, 2011
    • Best of luck to you during NaNo, Cat. I’m glad to hear that your novel is going to make it to the page during November.

      October 30, 2011
    • I came across your reply and just wanted to share my similar plight. My novel came to me when I was seventeen and I knew I was in no way mature or life-experience-wisened to write it, and it brewed for a VERY long time. Waiting on it was the best thing I could have done, because it exploded into something I could never have dreamed. When it becomes so big you can’t contain it, start writing! And give it a little free reign. Good luck!

      October 31, 2011
      • You’re so right, lnahay. Sometimes novels have to brew for awhile. I think some stories just get richer over time.

        October 31, 2011
  204. Holly #

    I had really really wanted to do it – I still might! But… I’m moving house, have a birthday and a houseful of guests and what feels like a million other things this month! But I still want to – should I just do it?!
    Also the cherry blossom picture is gorgeous isn’t it! I have a mug with that print on it.

    October 30, 2011
    • Hi, Holly. I sounds like you’re juggling a lot right now. Let me know if you decide to go for it. I juggle all the craziness while I’m cranking out a first draft – I just sleep less! Have a great birthday.

      October 30, 2011
  205. Until recently, I had no idea November was the month in which to write a novel. Boy, that’s a lot of words for one month and I take my hat off to any who accomplish it. That may be something I have to work into.

    October 30, 2011
  206. This is the first time I’ve come across NaNoWriMo! Thanks for putting me on to it… hopefully it’ll be the start of my first novel!

    tequilanights.wordpress.com

    October 30, 2011
    • Thanks for stopping by, tequilanights. I hope that you get that novel started and finished. Have a great November.

      October 30, 2011
  207. I love the calendar! That’s just what I needed! Otherwise, I would have been using a sticky note…

    October 30, 2011
    • I’m so happy I could save you from 30 days of sticky notes, timetravelinggirl. Although I do love sticky notes. But now you can use them for other writing related things! Have a great NaNoWriMo.

      October 31, 2011
  208. Great calendar! I’m preparing for my fifth NaNoWriMo now, and I know how important it is to break the big word count goal down into smaller chunks. Happy writing!

    October 30, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on this year’s NaNo attempt. I’ll be thinking of you during all of the craziness.

      October 31, 2011
  209. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on starting the NaNoWriMo challenge. This year will be my first year and it’s great to hear about your past experiences. This challenge is frightening, but will also be a much-needed kick in the pants. I like the distinction you make between those stories we try to get published and those we are meant to keep in our “virtual drawer.”

    October 30, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on your first NaNoWriMo attempt, Cristina. Keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  210. Good inspiration. I hope that you will finish your goal soon.

    October 30, 2011
  211. Good luck! I made it last year, and have spent the rest of the year playing with it. Not sure that one will ever really see the light of day, but I’m trying again this year! Good luck!

    October 30, 2011
    • Congrats on your NaNo win last year, ireckonthat. Best of luck on this year’s attempt. Be sure to keep me posted on your progress.

      October 31, 2011
  212. Life's amazing journey #

    This idea is so inspiring. I’m like you and love to have goals to aim for…All the best!

    October 30, 2011
    • Thanks for the well wishes, Life’s amazing journey. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  213. Super cool!! You’re truly inspiring Sara… I feel you are already on the path of victory….All the best 🙂

    October 30, 2011
  214. Super cool!! You’re truly inspiring Sara… I feel you are already on the path of victory….All the best and thank you for inspiring 🙂

    October 30, 2011
  215. Ah… this blog post is a good reminder for something I absolutely should/want/need to participate in!

    Bravo!

    October 31, 2011
    • I can’t wait to hear if you decide to take on the NaNo challenge, Thrift Shopping Buzz. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  216. Wish you all the luck 🙂

    October 31, 2011
  217. Great idea Sara and I love the calender. Am going to go for the 2000 a day. Thank goodness it starts tomorrow!. Am just starting to write my second book. My first is about to be sent out to agents…..

    October 31, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on your agent queries, Sarah. I’m glad to hear there’s someone else out there taking on the 2K challenge with me. Have a great November.

      October 31, 2011
  218. lovely blog 🙂
    do try and check out mine 🙂

    October 31, 2011
  219. Good luck with the writing.

    This is going to be my first attempt at it, story is in my head so it’s going to be a challenge to put it on paper, I have no idea how but I will give it a try (http://potatosandwich.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/national-novel-writing-month/)

    Let’s see how far my imagination can take me.

    D.

    October 31, 2011
    • Best of luck with your first NaNo attempt, potatosandwich. Enjoy every minute of November and let me know how it all works out for you. Thanks for stopping by.

      October 31, 2011
  220. thoraaron #

    This sounds like fun, I recently finished my first novel and I’m having a hell of a time finding an agent.Success to you!

    Not for tourists:
    http://www.cityarbiter.wordpress.com

    October 31, 2011
    • Kudos to you on finishing your first novel. Finding an agent…having that problem puts you in good company with thousands of writers out there. Good luck to you.

      October 31, 2011
  221. We’re in a bit of the same boat! Writing while running after two boys is much like walking a tightrope while juggling semi’s, and instead of a husband I have homework. Put the tightrope over a pen of really hungry, leaping Great White’s. And then there’s the pesky job thing that keeps getting in the way- rabid crows diving for our head. But writing is my meditation, my Zen, and the only way I can keep my sanity, the only place where I am myself and comfortable without any other daily masks. I haven’t joined the NaNoWriMo (though I do love the absurdity of its acronynm!). I’m in the process of querrying for my completed novel and in the editing process of its follow-up! (Maybe throw in a hurricane to the above situation) Good luck on your novel and your month’s word goal! 2000 words a day is impressive and worthy of praise and respect.

    October 31, 2011
    • “…walking a tightrope while juggling semi’s…” I love it! Best of luck to you in your querying, lnahay. Kudos to you for the two completed novels under your belt. Let me know who it all works out.

      October 31, 2011
      • Thanks! I wish a completed novel was more of an accomplishment. I had no idea that writing would be the absolute breeze; completely effortless in comparison to writing one small little query letter and trying to find the right agent and get my words printed! Ahhh! I’m enjoying your posts, though. Following you through the beginning of your new novel helps me remember why I love to write and quiets down the stress of ‘Part Two’. I love not only being a part of a creation of lives and worlds and emotions, but consecutively watching that creation take on its own beautiful form and life. Hopefully next year I’ll have the time to join the NaNoWriMo and work on the other novels currently brewing 🙂 I’m rooting for you and your daily word goal!

        November 2, 2011
    • “…walking a tightrope while juggling semi’s…” I love it! Best of luck to you in your querying, lnahay. Kudos to you for the two completed novels under your belt. Let me know how it all works out.

      October 31, 2011
  222. Best of luck to you. I have an internal editor, as I’m in that profession, which makes novels difficult to attempt to write but perhaps I might consider writing a short story or screenplay for a sitcom.

    October 31, 2011
    • Tell that internal editor to quit bothering you and let you write, leadinglight. Have a great November and I hope one of those short stories of screenplays makes it onto the page!

      October 31, 2011
  223. First time here too. It surely is a challenge. Will give it a try, and thank you for this push and opportunity to explore our inner potential, or mine at least.

    October 31, 2011
  224. I’m doing it again this year~ I’ve done four years but only completed one year, and that novel, sadly, also languishes in a folder where it will never be sent to publication. I have some great half-finished ones though!

    It’s exciting–tonight at midnight, it begins! My hubby and son are participating this year as well–it’s going to be epic!
    Good luck and thanks for the calendar,it is gorgeous.

    October 31, 2011
    • What a great thing to do as a family, Sugar Peep. Have a great November and keep me posted on your progress. Thanks for visiting.

      October 31, 2011
  225. Firespeaker #

    Uwah! This calendar is absolutely gorgeous. I find myself speechless (unfortunately for every one else, I still have typing abilities.)

    Good luck with your NaNoWrimo!

    October 31, 2011
    • I’m so glad you like the calendar, Firespeaker. I’ll be thinking of you during NaNoWriMo!

      October 31, 2011
  226. Best of luck in this year’s NaNoWriMo. My first NaNoWriMo and ScriptFrenzy was 2009, too. I love that deadline! This will be my third year for both. Happy Writing to you! http://redcurlgurl.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/in-anticipation-of-nanowrimo-2011/

    October 31, 2011
    • Good luck to you, too, redcurlgurl. Have a great NaNo. I look forward to hearing how it all pans out for you.

      October 31, 2011
  227. According to that calendar I’m living in the future now. Somewhere in the middle of the second week.
    You said your brain needs NaNoWriMo and so does mine but since yesterday I’ve been thinking what if I’m spoiling something by rushing so much? I can’t do it slower when I know it’s a race but I’m afraid that I can break something important if I don’t stop and digest it all slowly. What if I ruin it so much that it will be irreparable?
    What do you think?
    But of course, I don’t want to obsess about it and don’t want to spoil anybody’s writing mood. I wish you and all those who are writing this month all the best luck.

    PS- Just in case, I don’t blog about writing.

    November 3, 2011
    • Best of luck to you on your writing, Alexandra. What an amazing feeling to be so far ahead. Be sure to keep me posted on your progress, and thanks for stopping by.

      November 4, 2011
      • Hi there! I returned to say that I’ve finished it today. I can’t wait to start working on the second draft without being pressed by the number 50 000. I hope I didn’t damage the thing too much with all that hustle.

        How is your NaNoWriMo going?

        November 6, 2011
      • Amazing. 50,000 words in such a short time is impressive. I don’t think you did any damage with the hustle. NaNo is a great way to get a first draft down. You have all the time in the world to fill in the blanks, massage the weak parts and polish it to perfection. Congratulations, Alexandra.

        November 7, 2011
  228. Just checking in after the fact. Put the calendar on both my work and home backgrounds; used it every day to see where I was supposed to be. I didn’t always keep up, but I made it through! Found I was only about halfway through the book when I hit 50K so I asked my husband to make a December calendar with yours as the inspiration so that I can keep going. I made the word count a little lower though–I need a LITTLE bit of a break after the craziness of November!

    December 2, 2011

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