Gearing up for NANOWRIMO – and this year’s stakes.

Beginning NANO

Ok… I’ve screwed up NANOWRIMO so many times in so many ways – but this year, I will call in sick every day of the last week of November if I fall behind. My entire world view and every ounce of my self-esteem is tied to this… no pressure.

This is a note to myself… and to anyone out there who might want tips on how to not do this.

Things that have helped in the past that I will incorporate this year:

1) Go to write-ins!

On days where I sit in a coffee shop or library with fellow NANOers, I not only kick word-count’s proverbial ass during the event, but I’m amped for the rest of the day and I write on the subway and I write on my porch and I have to pull out my phone and write on it while I’m walking home. Being around other people who are doing the same thing is so much more inspiring than trying to push through the whole month alone.

2) End a day’s writing in the middle of a sentence.

I hate not bringing ideas to completion. My instinct is to write until a pivotal scene or chapter is wrapped up. This hasn’t worked for me. What has worked has been the times when I time myself and stop immediately when the word-count or time is up. Stopping in the middle of a thought or a sentence almost drives me crazy – and absolutely insures that I will be typing away the absolute next second I have the chance.


I suck at this. In 2011, I had the bright idea to get a huge outline together to hang over my writing space at home and have it available any time I started feeling bogged down. Here is a picture of what I came up with…


The beginning was easy, and look how filled in the last chapters are… I knew where I was going! But, was damned if I could get there. This year I will have a full outline ready.

4) I’m a gonna reward myself!

If (and only IF – no lying to myself) I win this year, I am going to treat myself to a membership at Workbar. When I am home, I feel that I should be in my workroom, toiling away on physically creating things and when I’m at work, for some reason, I feel like I should be doing what they pay me for (go figure). But, there are things that I need to do for my company that are computer based and since I am trying to get away from doing the actual construction myself and focus more on the design, I need to do more computer work than actual physical worky work AND I would love to dump the whole damned thing and just be a writer. Having an office to go to that I can treat as a second job would make that much easier (I love to compartmentalize). AND, it will give me a space to go that my body and mind will know is solely for writing. Anyway – all that to say that this is a big freakin’ deal.

If any of you have suggestions of things that have worked for you – please (please for the love of my sanity) share them!

2 DAYS and counting.




  1. The ideas sound great!!!

    Best of luck!!!

    Sending you lots of creative energy!


    1. Thanks, Michael. I’m going to need it… and possibly some super-glue to keep me planted in a chair.


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