NaNo Kickoff Party


I’m looking forward to NaNoWriMo, and now it’s less than two weeks away! Sunday I’m going to a regional kick-off party in Columbia and meet some of my fellow Maryland “Wrimos,” which is what participants in the writing madness are called. Honestly, I’m still pretty optimistic at this point about doing the program. It’s not about writing perfect prose and ending the month with a finished manuscript, it’s about writing 50,000 words. That’s 1,667 words a day. I can so totally do that!

I have a term paper that I’m working on for my graduate history class, and the draft isn’t due until the first week of December, but with NaNo coming up I didn’t want to drive myself too crazy and have two major projects to work on from scratch. The good news is that I have actually been working on the paper, and I have about six pages’ worth of stuff written. On Tuesday I went over to the library and wrote about 1,700 words. It’s pretty rough — it’s mostly notes, but it’s words on the page. The final page count for the paper is 20 pages, so I’m nearly a third of the way into it. My goal is to have 10-12 pages written by October 31, which is looking very possible.

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WriMo in Training

I decided to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. In case you don’t know what it is, National Novel Writing Month runs during the month of November. The goal is to complete 50,000 words of a novel during the month. This won’t necessarily be a completed manuscript, but it’s still a lot of words!

I have a project that I keep putting off because I have other writing work that takes center stage. I work full time and do freelance writing, so I have to fit that in. Then I’m taking graduate-level history classes. So I have to fit those term papers and tons of reading in. Since I’m only doing these three things, I cheerfully threw caution to the wind and decided to sign myself up for NaNo (as it’s affectionately called). I reckon it will be like taking a second class, without the reading or research.

I have a couple of weeks to mentally prepare for NaNo and get my butt in gear on my term paper, which is much farther along that it would be if I wasn’t doing NaNo.There’s nothing like a deadline to light a fire under a writer. Or burn him/her out. But I’m voting for the former.

Since there are 30 days in November, working on a novel during the month means writing 1,667 words per day, every day. If I want to take time off on the weekends, I need to write 50,000 words in 22 workdays, which works out to about 2273 words per day, or just over 9 pages of double-spaced text. Umm, maybe I’d better plan on working on this during the weekend, too. We’ll see. I probably write about 1,500-2,000 words a day now, easily, between freelance writing and class, so 2273 isn’t much of a stretch. It just sounds scary. Until then, it’s off to term-paper-land, with a mere 5,000 words to write.