Sunday, August 29, 2010


Well, because I don't have enough to do with my copious spare time (!), I've decided that I'm going to give NaNoWriMo a go this year.

For those unfamiliar with it, NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - is a challenge without prizes, run as a "bootstrapping nonprofit" to use the organisers' words, wherein people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel (or novella, really) in one month, from 1 to 30 November. The idea is to have some fun, complete a personal goal, and hopefully refine your writing skills. I guess some people also hope to get something publishable out of the experience, but I don't have that illusion myself; I have a very specific goal in mind.

I'm going to try to write a younger-readers' (8-10) chapter book - for my girls. We've told and played many a story over the past few years and they are entranced with idea of a narrative that captures some of the flavour of that imagination. If I do get to 50,000 words, I will self-publish a few copies via Cafe Press so my girls will have one each forever. My Dad has offered to draw me a cover in that eventuality (he's an amateur artist).

I have attempted NaNoWriMo once before - in 2004, when my eldest was 15 months old and I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy with my second girl. I didn't meet the target - derailed by illnesses and a badly planned plot, I only made it to 9,000 words (although the story was quite readable as far as it went).

This time, I really, truly, want to get there. I'm aware it's only just September, but being a believer in preparation, I am starting to consolidate my ideas and think about how I'll manage the challenge. One thing is a certainty, and that is - in November, I won't be spending time on the computer reading blogs, tweeting, or even writing blog posts. I'll be either doing my paid work, or writing the book. Instead of regular blog posts, therefore, I thought I would post excerpts from the novel in progress. Who knows, it might even be entertaining ;-)

Is anyone else going to try NaNoWriMo this year? If so, do you want to be writing buddies?


  1. I have no illusions about my writing and am not going to attempt this but would love to be part of your cheer team.

  2. Wow, that's a big chunk of commitment there!! good luck, wishing you the best.

  3. Earlier this year I discovered this and signed up and then I realised I will be having my third baby at the start of November and settling into a new life with two toddlers and a newborn for much of the rest of the month. So, I guess I will be in next year!
    I hope you manage to make it and I hope to read about your journey :)

  4. I've been NaNoWriMing (?) for 6 years now (and only in one of those years did I meet the 50K goal!) but that hasn't stopped me yet. : ) I'm not brave enough to post my scribbles as I go, but I'm impressed that you will! Good luck, and if you do need a writing buddy, I would be happy to cheer you on! ("chriss" on the NaNoWriMo site.)