Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart a Novel

I’m the newest member of the Today’s Author team. I live in Tucson, AZ where the weather is shifting to my favorite time of year- when I can read a book in my backyard without bursting into flames.

I thought by way of introduction, I’d share my own experiences with NaNoWriMo, since that’s what’s on everyone’s mind lately. For more of the nitty-gritty, check out my bio.

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo in years past and it has always been a great experience. I used to do it as a “NaNoRebel”, but I’ve heard they loosened the rules.

The stated goal – writing 50,000 words in 30 days – was never what I was after. I enjoy the community aspect. It really helps to feel like we’re all in this together. The NaNoWriMo site has forums you can chat in for moral support and it holds write-ins at libraries and coffee shops around the country.

Each day, you add your word count on the site and a little progress bar fills. They tell you how many words to write each day to stay on target. It’s easy to get obsessed with daily word count achievements and I tried to resist this. For me, the point was to set aside time to write every single day, to make it a priority.

I’m an edit-as-you-go writer and I’m okay with that. A lot of people participate in NaNoWriMo to learn how to turn their inner editor off, but that wasn’t my goal. When I found myself trying too hard to meet my daily word count – all the scenes in the book were fast paced dialogue – I forced myself to take a break. This usually happened during the third week.

I’m not participating this year because I’ve recently finished the book I started in NaNoWriMo last year. I used that month to really kickstart the process. You can too!


5 thoughts on “Using NaNoWriMo to Kickstart a Novel

  1. Welcome to the Today’s Author Family, Katie!

  2. Welcome to the group, Katie! Everyone I know who’s done NaNoWriMo likes it. Maybe that’s another reason I’m afraid to try it–I’m easily addicted to activities.

    Look forward to more of your posts.

  3. Lovely to have you here around the writer’s table, Katie. Hoping to hear more about the book you just finished, and lots more about you.

  4. Welcome Katie. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

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