Are You Ready? #NaNoWriMo

Hi, SEers! Mae, here! Thanks for joining me as October winds down to a close. Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what comes after that, right?


Bearded man in jacket with retro typewriter in one hand, closed laptop in other
Image from

It’s almost time to start the write-a-thon craziness that takes place every November. If you’re participating—hoping to write 50K in thirty days—plan your strategy now if you haven’t already. Last month, I shared how to prep for NaNo. You can find that post HERE if you missed it.

Right now, you should be ready for the starting whistle. Whether you’re beginning a new project, adding to an existing WIP, or crafting short stories that total at least 50K, there are several ways to approach your goal. Let’s take a look…

If you’re sticking to the letter of NaNoWriMo you’ll need to pen 1666 words every day for thirty days. Somewhere during that time, you’ll need to add an additional 20 words to hit 50K.
(1666 x 30 = 49,980 + 20 = 50,000)

Warp Drive
Kick the month off by writing like a fiend. Start vomiting words and go for as many as you can, as long as you can.

1666 words per day? Pfff, you say! You’re going to double that! Triple that! Can I get a quadruple?

Opt for a combination of the above methods. Write like a speed-demon until you sputter, then plan a day or two with a specific word count until you’re back in light-speed mode. We all know once words flow, characters interact, and scenes build into chapters, momentum returns.

Nail Biter
Remember the scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas when Cindy Lou Who asks, “Santie Claus, why? Why are you taking our tree, why?” Now picture the Grinch nervously gnawing his fingernails. NaNoWriMo participants are well acquainted with that look because we all do it at one time or another during the month.

Be prepared. Accept it’s going to happen—usually when ZERO word count days creep into the schedule. Embrace it for what it is. Gnaw your fingernails (or a pencil). Then get back on board seesawing, launching warp drive, or settling into disciplined writing.

Woman gnawing on pencil while staring at open laptop with worried expression
Courtesy of Pixabay

I Think Not
You’ve made up your mind. It’s insanity to attempt writing 50K in thirty days, especially given there’s a major holiday in the month for U.S. residents. Thanksgiving takes a lot of prep. Recipe planning, food shopping, house cleaning, decorating, pie baking, cooking! The list goes on. Who has time to even think about writing several days either side of Thanksgiving?

Living on the Fringe
You’re not participating, but dang—NaNoWriMo is exciting! You’re thoroughly jazzed for your writing friends who’ve decided to take the challenge. You’re cheering them on, and in the process, planning to make a dent in your WIP. You’re going to embrace the creative energy zooming through the writing community during the month and make the most of it. Nothing official, but you’re planning to step up your commitment and dedicate time to your muse.

So, let’s hear it—which description fits you best? Maybe you’re a combination of a few. Even if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, I’d love to hear your writing plans for next month. Drop a few lines in the comments and share.

Ready, set, go!

bio box for author, Mae Clair

56 thoughts on “Are You Ready? #NaNoWriMo

  1. I like your idea about writing short stories instead of a novel. I am always busy in November so I don’t do this. I probably wouldn’t do it anyway as I am quirky about how I write and slow and steady is my style. I must edit as I go along or else it nags at me. I don’t have the personality for this challenge, but I admire those who do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, I think there are a lot of writers who don’t engage in NaNoWriMo but who still make November a dedicated time for writing. It’s definitely a hard month for me, between Thanksgiving and also my wedding anniversary. I’m not sure I’ll be successful this year, but I always have fun trying.
      And I completely understand how it’s impossible for some authors to turn off their internal editor and stick with slow and steady. That’s my pace 11 other months out of the year, LOL.
      No matter what you may be working on, I wish you much success with progress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: #ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire | The Write Stuff

    • Hi, Rox! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the post. NaNoWriMo is definitely a compelling challenge, and there are so many different ways to approach it. I enjoyed writing this post and am glad you enjoyed it!


  3. I’ve never been interested before, but I do have a non-fiction project about baby boomers that I started in 1999 that I keep shelving for one reason or another. After reading this, I’ve decided to have a non-official go and will see how many words I can achieve. I have all the information I need in notebooks and so this might be all the motivation I need to at least have a finished rough draft at the end. There’s always the unexpected cropping up here and my health issues can get in the way, but if I do this without the official commitment I won’t feel like I’ve failed. Even if I only write a few thousand words, that’s a bonus of a few thousand! Thanks, Mae.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alex, I’m excited for you! There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving it a non-official go, especially when you have things that can crop up and present hurdles. A non-fiction project about baby boomers sounds interesting (especially since I am one, LOL). November sounds like a great time to dive back into your project. I’m glad my post inspired you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck with word count, Mae! Are you starting something new or adding to a WIP? Either way, wishing you much success. My brain’s too slow for NaNo, but I’m halfway through Jazzi 8, and I’m hoping to finish the first daft in November. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Judi. I’m hoping to finish up a WIP. I did that last year for NaNo, and am hoping I can duplicate the effort this year.

      That’s exciting about Jazzi 8. I know with all the creative energy pinging around during November, you’re certain to finish it. I’ll be cheering you on!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am definitely living on the fringe this year, cheering the writers on with pom poms! However, the energy from just talking about it is inspiring and I will join in that feeling with whatever I do in November. What a great post! I can’t wait to read what you come up with! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s awesome, Jan. The energy generated from NaNoWriMo is really something, isn’t it? I’m always amazed by the excitement it generates. Thanks for being there with those pom-poms. Whatever WIP you’re tackling on the fringe, I’ll be cheering you on, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Last year I was living on the fringe and “unofficially” participated — and wound up finishing my first novel a few months later! This year I officially signed up, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ll likely be seesawing this, depending on how work goes for me.

    Great post, Mae! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you did the official sign up, Marie. That’s fantastic. And how wonderful you finished a novel from your unofficial participation a few months later. I did the same last year.

      I’m a see-sawer, too. I start off at warp speed, then bottom out to zero word count days, dust myself off and return with a slower approach. Wishing us both much success!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did a couple of 10K weekend sprints while writing Hotel Fen, so I might do that this time around too! I’m likely to wind up with too few words on weekdays anyway, so that might help me make up for lost words 😂

        Thanks for the well wishes, Mae, and all the same to you! I’ll be waiting to read what you finish writing. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll be doing weekends too, Marie, with the exception of a few days at the start of the month. I’ll be excited to read your finished book as well!
        I’ll look for you on the NaNoWriMo website. I’m MythMaven.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I dunno… I have a side project underway, but promised myself not to push it. It’s something to dabble with and could take years to finish. I would like to start another main project, but should just concentrate on material for an upcoming promo. I might have a release by mid-month if it all works out. I am cheering for you and hope you win again.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Wonderful post, Mae. I’m on the fence with NaNo, but I’ll be using the time to unravel a new book that’s stirring within. And of course, I’ll be cheering for you and Jill and everyone else who will be drafting another masterpiece. All the best to you – and all! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gwen, there is so much writing energy pinging around in the blogosphere in November, I have no doubt you’ll unravel that new book with ease. New projects are always exciting, and I wish you well with the development of yours. Thanks for NaNoWriMo well wishes, too. Fingers crossed it’s a productive month for all who participate!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fantastic post, Mae! As long as I don’t get any surprises from my editor, I plan to be the disciplined NaNo participant. I’m excited! In years past, once I’ve committed to writing a rough draft, it has later become a completed and published book. Thanks for allowing me to share in your launch yesterday…it was fun! Enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You have had such fantastic results with NaNoWriMo, Jill. Good for you for taking the disciplined approach, too. I’m a see-sawer….I start at warp speed, then hit a dry spell, then wobble back at a slower pace. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ll see what happens this year, but I am so looking forward to it. I hope you don’t have any surprises from your editor and are able to participate as planned. I’ll be cheering you on.

      And many thanks for hosting me during my tour yesterday. I had a blast visiting your blog! {{hugs}}


  10. I haven’t done an official NaNoWriMo but have knocked out huge daily word counts in the past. With my health up in the air and medical tests upcoming, I’m not in a position to commit to anything but I’ll be cheering you all along. Here’s to a month a fantastic creativity 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I’ve never participated, and my life is beyond busy right now, but I’m going to try for 25K this year. I’m hoping to finish my blog tour posts for my soon-to-be-released book this week. That way, I can focus on my current WIP, which needs a big push to get fully written. NaNoWriMo might just be the push I need. We shall see! Great post, Mae. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Great post, Mae 🙂 I did the last two years and I’m working on my first story written at NaNo. I won’t be working on a new story this year as I deeply in editing. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Denise, that’s awesome that you’re working on a book written during NaNoWriMo. The whole goal is to achieve a complete project, and it sounds like yours is soon to see the light of day with publishing. I’ll be cheering you on as you edit!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on your intention for that really good go! I’m going to do the same and will be writing as I go as well. I have a project in the works that has been languishing at a pitiful 14K for almost a year. Adding another 50K will bring me close to a complete book.
      Thanks for dropping by to comment, and best of luck during NaNo!

      Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s