Hello Friends and welcome back!
Can you believe that it’s almost November? This year has gone by quickly and it’s almost time for the writing community to come together and celebrate National Novel Writing Month, also known as Nanowrimo.
For the uninitiated, the challenge for Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Officially, you do not write a single word in your project until November 1. Being an Enneagram 1, I follow the rules and always start a fresh project. However, there are many people who are Nano Rebels and will have already started their projects and will be adding an additional 50,000 words to the project or working on something completely different. In actuality, there’s no wrong way to participate.
The community is super active and inspiriting. People from all over the world are writing together. If you like accountability, there are always live chats you can find and join other writers to do word sprints and talk through writing progress and issues. You can find them on youtube. You can find them on Discord. The Nanowrimo site has discussion boards. If you search, you will find accountability.
In other years, there have been many local in-person meetups. Often libraries or coffee shops will host them. However, this year (as with last year) there are no in-person meetups per the official stance of the Nanowrimo company.
My Nanowrimo History
I have participated in several Nanowrimos in my life. My very first attempt was back in 2009 with a YA fantasy series that I’ve yet to finish (though I still feel quite passionate about it and plan to dive back into the story later on in 2022!). I participated for about a week and then promptly set the pages aside. Over the next six years, I continued to start my Nanowrimo projects and then would stop about week 2 or 3 during the months. I had some great excuses – college and work kept me quite busy.
The first time I “won” Nanowrimo was during 2012 when a thriller I was working on crossed the 50,000 word mark. That felt really good! Funnily enough though, I never continued on and finished the draft. I still have the uncompleted draft, but it’s not on my active projects calendar right now.
I never finished a draft of a novel until 2019 when I fully drafted Autumn Sunrise. The final draft came in at 56,273 words and I am so proud of that draft for many reasons. First of course, it was the first full draft I ever completed. Second, I drafted the entire thing in a month. And third, I finally felt that I had written something worth continuing with. As a side note – every project I’ve worked on since then I have completed full drafts for. I think of it as the barrier-breaker for me – once I’d completed a full draft, I knew that I could do it again!
I followed that victory up by drafting Modernly Ella in 2020, which also has a really special place in my heart because I wrote a huge chunk of it over ten days when I was down in North Carolina visiting my grandmother before she passed away from cancer. Even in the midst of all the sadness and sweetness of that visit, I still wrote. I haven’t done anything else with that project since I completed drafting it.
My 2021 Nanowrimo Project
This year, I will be working on a young adult fantasy novel that I intend to be the first in a duology. If I had to describe now, without having written it, I would say that it’s the Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame movie meets Star Wars with the vibe of Shadow and Bone (the book itself, not the whole trilogy).
For the first time in my writing life, I do not have a working title in mind. Usually when I plan out a project, I have some sort of working title. For this, I have no clue. If you are buddies with me on the Nano site, you’ll see that I’ve got the project titled “Epic Space Fantasy.”
My 2021 Nanowrimo Goals
My goal this year is ambitious. Even though I am still taking Master’s level classes and working full-time, I am planning to draft the full novel this November. The goal is for the first draft to come in at around 80,000 words. That means that I’ll have to write an average of 2,667 words a day (which is 1,000 more words than Nano typically requires).
In order to do that, I will have to be strategic in what else I choose to do. I am not anticipating doing a whole lot of pleasure reading (if any) during the month of November. I’m going to be showing up live during a lot of evening and weekend writing sprints. I may also choose to go live with my own writing sprints during the month. Definitely keep an eye on my instagram @kellie.katrin.writes as that’s where I’ll announce those plans.
If you are participating in Nanowrimo, tell me about your story! What are you writing and what are your goals (word count/completed draft/something else)?
Also – if you are on the Nanowrimo site and we’re not buddies yet, shoot me a buddy request. You’ll find me @kaitekr!