Saturday, October 22, 2011

Writing a novel in 30 days (otherwise known as NaNoWriMo Madness)

For those of you in the know, the title of this post speaks for itself, and you are either laughing at me or nodding your head in sympathy because you are planning on spending the month of November much the same way I will be -- glued to your computer, gulping down coffee, and neglecting your family and friends until you have completed your goal of writing a fifty-thousand word novel.

For those of you who are new to NaNoWriMo Madness, don't let that first paragraph scare you away.  I didn't mean it.  Okay, so I did, but it's not as bad as it sounds.  Really, its a lot of fun, and your friends and family will be so proud of you when it's over that they won't hold a grudge about you neglecting them for thirty days straight.  (In theory, anyway.)

So, what exactly is this NaNoWriMo Madness of which I speak? 

Simply put, it is that festive event that takes place every year during the month of November where aspiring novelists test their resolve (and their sanity) by pledging to write a fifty-thousand word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30th. 

Now, some of you might say, "Fifty-thousand words, Mynx? Are you out of your freakin' mind?"

The answer to both of these questions is yes, but let's look at this from a different standpoint.  Yay, math!

50,000 words divided by 30 days = 1667 words per day.

1667 words per day.

That's it, but that's not all.

To write your daily word count in one hour, you only need to be able to type 28 words per minute.

1667 words divided by 60 minutes = 28 words per minute.

To put it into further perspective, you speak, on average, at 100 words per minute.

It doesn't sound nearly as crazy-making now, does it?  Actually, it sounds pretty easy, when you look at it that way.  And a lot less time consuming than I originally led you to believe.  Hell, hook up your voice recognition software and you can probably dictate your entire novel in oh, eight and a half hours from start to finish.

But wait!  There's even more!

Now that you've wrapped your head around the numbers, it's time to look at what NaNoWriMo is really all about, and that is, it is about getting you to put your butt in chair, in front of keyboard, and get to writing that novel that you keep talking about writing "someday".  There is no more talk of writing during NaNoWriMo - there is just writing from day one to day thirty.  There is no "someday" during NaNoWriMo.  "Someday" becomes NOW. 

If ever you needed a kick in the kiester to get to writing that book you keep meaning to get around to writing, NaNoWriMo is that kick. 

And it starts a mere nine days from now, so what are you waiting for?  Go to the website and sign up!

And then come back here and leave me a comment with your user name so I can add you to my writing buddies list. 

Who's with me?


  1. This will be my 5th year of NaNo - I'm rachel_c on the site

  2. I adore Nano - I missed it terribly when I could not do it last year (three special needs kids and sometimes my head wants to explode if I add another thing ... you know?).

    I've signed up for the madness this year and might have to post a link to your funny post in my intro post on my own site! I'm being a rebel (I think, could still change my mind) and working on my own memoir this year instead of a traditional novel ... I've been itching to just get writing since I started editing my settings at the Nano site *big grin*

    We can be a bit insane together this year! LOL

  3. wow you sure know how to make a point :), you actually made me think about it :), thank you for putting things into perspective for me, actually this sounds doable..., congrats and I wish you inspiration, kisses.

  4. This is my 4th year doing nano and I love it. This will give me the push to just write. Because lately, I'm just editing and reviewing--not writing. AND even though I need to continue editing so my book will be ready for release this first part of 2012, I want to write as well. I NEED to write. So I will be doing both during November--I'm crazy, right? My editor will probably kill me :)

    My name is Calynnblue (not sure why I picked that so many years ago, but it is what it is).

    ~Angela Scott

  5. I'm doing it! :) But when are they going to get the "friends" feature activated?? ;)

  6. I have signed up and this is the first year for me. I also have my 6th graders doing it as well. So....this should be a lot of fun for all of us!

    My user id is DBibb.

  7. From someone who lasted for a pitiful five days the last time she tried NaNoWriMo: what we actually need is an algorithm because hte further behind you fall the more words/minute you need to write to catch back up >:-)

  8. I'm still on the fence about it since I'm traveling a lot and there's that Thanksgiving bird flapping about - no excuses though: toughen up and get some writing done! This was my inner voice talking to me and not anyone else unless you hear voices too ;-)

  9. You make it sound so doable, time-wise. Now if only I had an actual idea for a book!

  10. Nice spin, Marie :) As soon as the buddy feature is up drop me a note or add me--I'm registered as Guilie (yep, the benefits of a weird name have become more obvious the older I get). Thanks for the follow on Twitter, and cheers to a mind-blowing NaNo!

  11. I write on average between 2000 and 3000 words a day. But I won't be doing NaNoWriMo. I'm currently on sabbatical after 6 months of editing.

    Oh yeah, and I'm pitching in person to some publishers in two weeks, so I had better do something on that (gulp!).

  12. Me! I'm in!
    I'm natanna on the site, when they get the friends thing working.

  13. I have been planning on this for months, and the closer it gets, the more nervous I get. This will be my first time...gulp. :)

  14. OK. I did it. I am not sure why. I have always had a lot of stories in my head, but I am pretty sure ADHD or something affects me. I have so many things I get interested in and jump right in and then lose interest quickly. We'll see if I can last a month or even get started.

    I am GreenRaven.

    My recently started blog is

  15. Wow, so many takers! That's awesome. As soon as opens up the site for adding writing buddies, I'm going to add everyone. :)

    Ciara, good luck on your pitch!