To NaNo, or Not to NaNo…

I *think* I might participate in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

For the uninitiated, NaNo-ers spend the month of November writing an original novel. You “win” by writing at least 50,000 words by November 30th, which averages out to be less than 2,000 words a day — totally doable. I’ve gone back and forth about participating, but I figure, what’s the worst that can happen? Even if I don’t win, at least I’ll end up with some new words. And if I do win, I’ve got a pretty sizable chunk of a crappy first draft to complete and revise and polish into something not so crappy. Why not, right?

So, I’ve been reading up on NaNo, and I’ve found some pretty fantastic tips about how to “win” without losing your mind. I thought I might share them here because even if you’re not NaNo-ing, there’s still plenty of quality information on writing in general in the links below.

Happy perusing!

Nine Reasons to Consider Joining the NaNo SillinessΒ  – Anne R. Allen

Tips for NaNo First-Timers – YA Yeah Yeah

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo – Storyist

NaNoWriMo Tips from Veterans –

The Carpool Lane: Inspiration for NaNoWriMo – YA Highway

How to get Quantity *and* Quality Out of NaNo – Taryn Albright

25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo – Terrible Minds

**ETA: My official NaNo name is katyupperman. You should totally add me as a writing buddy!

Tell me: Have you even participated in National Novel Writing Month? Will you this year? Do you have any tips to share with me, the newbie? πŸ˜‰


38 thoughts on “To NaNo, or Not to NaNo…

  1. Temre Beltz says:

    Go, Katy, go! I love this idea and am cheering for you, but it is a little bit selfish too because I am also jumping up and down at the idea of reading another Katy Upperman book ❀

  2. zanne says:

    I’m going to try NaNo this year! I’ve tried it 2 other times, but only lasted a couple days. This time I’m trying something new. I’m going to attempt a re-telling. Also, I’m pretty sure that no one will want to read my re-telling, so the pressure is off. I just want to have fun with it.

    Good luck!

    • katyupperman says:

      I think that’s a great strategy, Zanne. No pressure is really the best way to write. I’m going to adopt that attitude too. I think NaNo is great for solidarity and support. Good luck to you!

  3. Jaime Morrow says:

    Definitely do it! I’m participating, but I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it the way it was intended. I’m thinking of finishing up the NaNo novel I started last November. Obviously I wouldn’t include myself in the running with others because it isn’t original, but it might be nice to use it as motivation to finish up the 2011 NaNo novel. I think more than anything it’s a great way to find accountability and excitement about projects whether new or old. So I say do it! πŸ™‚

  4. Rebecca B says:

    I’ve never participated (although someday I’d like to!) but I do use NaNo as word-count inspiration. Thanks for all the links–they’re going to help me kick this first draft into high gear!

  5. Alexandra Shostak says:

    Yes! I do not participate every year (lol, or even every other year) but last year in August I did Camp NaNo (which has an extra day in it, ftw) and I really love the story I wrote. It’s the project I’m currently revising (been working on it since then, rewriting and heavily revising.) I actually love drafting at the NaNo pace–I tend to use it as a personal goal whenever I’m writing something new. Because, if I stop and think too much about what I’m writing, I’d never get a new draft done. I have to spit it all out really fast or I’d never have anything to revise!

    • katyupperman says:

      I like drafting at a fast pace too, Alexandra. When I think too much, things get all muddled and I second-guess myself. When I write quickly, the product is usually better. Best of luck with your rewrite!

  6. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Thanks for this! I’m actually planning a similar post for tomorrow, with some links on NaNo. I need all the advice I can get, since this will be my first time attempting it.

    I’m also selfishly thinking you should participate, because it’d be fun to root for one another! πŸ™‚

  7. Stephanie Allen says:

    This will be my 7th NaNo. I haven’t won since 2007, but I got pretty close last year, and I figure that however many words I get written are that many more words than I had before!

  8. Cynthia says:

    This will be my first year doing NaNoWriMo. I’m doing NaNoPlanMo right now to prepare. Thanks for sharing your resources. I’ll check them out.

  9. Mrs. Silverstein says:

    This is an awesome link round-up! I’m pretty excited about this year’s NaNo and I’ve been working on a few different plans…not sure which one I’ll actually run with yet. If you jump in, I’m SilversteinELA on the NaNo site–feel free to add me as a writing buddy/cheering section!

  10. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    I haven’t done it before, and I keep going back and forth on it this year. I’m still doing research for my next WIP, and I feel like I need to do quite a bit more before I’m ready to actually start writing this. I want to be ready for it, but I don’t know if it’s realistic.

  11. Suzi says:

    I am doing it for the first time this year and am getting excited. I just happened to be at a good place. Starting to query one story, wanting to start another. I’ll look you up.

  12. Elodie says:

    Yay! Go Katy go πŸ˜€ Like Temre, I may be selfish about this but (1) all writing samples you put on this blog left me wanting for me so…I say yes for a new novel πŸ˜€ and (2) I may live through those of you doing NaNo πŸ˜€ (IΒ΄ve never done it and I wonΒ΄t manage this year either…All the excitement and the sense of achievement and the new words sound great though so yay πŸ˜€

  13. Alison Miller says:

    Go, Katy, GO!!! I’ve never been in a “good place” (meaning I’m always revising) to do NaNo and probably won’t be this year even though I really am itching to start working on one of my SNIs, but ya know – CM first!
    But good luck! I’ll be expecting updates!

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, I’ll definitely be updating. Go, go, go on CM, Alison. I don’t have to tell you how desperately I love that story, and I can’t wait to see it finished in all its glory!

  14. Colin says:

    I’ll be a NaNoNewbie too this year, Katy, so I’m right there with you! πŸ™‚ I wish you every success with writing 50+k words of something useable!

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