Nanowrimo: Week One-A love/hate relationship



It is time. Nanowrimo time.

For those unfamiliar with the term, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. 30 days in the month of November in which to write 50,000 words. For some, that is a novel length. For me, it’s a starting off point. Nanowrimo is not meant to be literary perfection,but rather, 50k of word vomit that you can go back to later and remold into something, hopefully, a bit more palatable.

This competition is meant to force the inner editor out of your brain and just write. Instead of harping on if this word works or wondering if that scene is too short, you just write. Write like the wind. 1,667 words a day, in fact, are what you need to pluck out if you want to stay on target. The goal of this month is not to produce a polished manuscript. The goal is to produce the shitty first draft, which is sometimes the hardest part of writing.

This is my third attempt to finish (I’ve only finished the first time. I came close the second, but I got sick, my tennis elbow invaded and then Thanksgiving sort of did me in.) But here I am, ready for another try.

What I love about Nanowrimo, is that it holds me accountable to more than just myself. I have friends all trying to reach the same goal with me. I have to log in my words each day. It graphs my success and rewards me with little badges when I stay on track.

When the words don’t come, I begin to hate Nanowrimo. You start to panic and begin to split your contractions into the two words they were designed to be, or even worse add song lyrics that don’t need to be there simply to reach that final goal. It’s pathetic and yes, I’ve done both.

On the plus side, for the last few weeks I’ve been writing from 5-6 am. I call it my Power Hour. In that hour, when the brain has yet to get bogged down with all the things that have to be done, I’ve been averaging a daily count of about 1,200 words, so it shouldn’t be too much harder to reach 1667…in theory.

This week, I will likely love participating in Nanowrimo, when the energy around me is all aglow with the hope and excitement of starting a new project. I’ll leave the loathing for week two or three when the daily slog has become a bit more real and the will to quit begins to set in.

For now, my day one goal has been met. Yay me.


Danielle Bannister, Author, and November word counter


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