Posts from November, 2015

NaNoWriMo Week 3: Yes, You Can Do This!

(Our guest blogger today is wrimo xetheriel, otherwise known as Thomas. Thanks to Thomas for writing today’s post! — ML )

I remember the first time I did NaNoWriMo. It was 2010, and I had no idea what I was doing. I had never written before, I had no idea for a plot, no idea for characters, and no clue how I was going to finish 50,000 words in 30 days. That first year, it took me until November 25 to come up with any kind of inspiration, and when I did, I wrote like mad and finished 18,000 words in 5 days.

Not too shabby.

No, I didn’t win. But I felt accomplished anyways. And I kept writing. I finished 50,000 in 30 days anyway. After all, I made a commitment. That’s really all NaNoWriMo is about right? A commitment to yourself to keep writing no matter what, and get that novel out of your head and onto paper or into a word processor.

It’s a personal challenge, and nothing more. Yes there is a community built around it to provide friendship and support throughout the challenge, but it really comes down to this: Can you do it?

I’ll be participating again this year, and by the time you read this, I’m hoping to be a 5-time consecutive winner.

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is: “How do you do it?”

I’m friends with a large number of writers, and even a few published authors, and the general consensus is that doing NaNoWriMo is a pretty tough task. Here’s some tips for how I manage to pull it off:

-       Don’t give up. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people throw in the towel, telling themselves that they can’t do it. You can do it. It’s not an impossible task.

-       Stay positive, even if you only finish 40k, or 20k, or really anything at all. Those are words you didn’t have at the beginning of the month. The idea is to get creative, to stimulate your mind, and to do the best you can. If you wrote anything at all, you accomplished that. And if you said “Yes, I can do this!” you took the first step that many hundreds of thousands of people never take. It’s the first step on a journey to write that novel you’ve always wanted to write.

-       Write as much as you can when you have the inspiration. In order to accomplish 50k in 30 days, you need to write 1,667 words each day. If you stop each day once you hit this goal, then sure, you’ve hit your goal, but if you feel like you still have words to write, and you still have time, get more in. There is no harm in finishing early, and this will build up a buffer in case you have days when you can’t write as much.

-       Write every day. Even if it’s just 50 words. The idea is to establish a routine. To write every day, without fail. Make a commitment to yourself that no matter how little time you have in a day, you will write a certain number of words each day.

-       If you fall behind, don’t get discouraged. Everybody has good and bad writing days. Just keep up the routine, and keep getting those words down.

-       Kill your inner editor. Yup. Kill him. An inner editor is of no use to you when attempting this challenge. If you hate what you’re writing, write it anyway. You’re still practising your craft. Worry about editing later.

-       And last but not least, one of the most important things you can do to accomplish your goal is get involved with a local writing community. The support and encouragement of other writers around you will do wonders for your creative mind. If you haven’t been to a local write-in yet, make an effort to get out to one. You won’t believe how great it can make you feel.

Always remember that NaNoWriMo has as many winners as it has participants. Even if you don’t write all 50k words, the fact that you started at all is a big step, and something to be proud of. Good luck, and keep writing!

fail bradbury

NaNoWriMo Week 2: Right Now? Just Write.

(Our guest blogger today is wrimo Angel on the Moon, otherwise known as Lyndsay. Thanks to Lyndsay for writing today’s post! — ML )

Welcome, Wrimo, to the dreaded Week Two. At this point, the characters that you had a perfect picture of in your head before this whole thing started aren’t looking so pretty – in fact, it’s turning into a nightmare to get this story going in the direction you thought it would go. You’re way behind on your word count, and it’s getting worse by the day. And those plot holes are starting to rear their ugly heads. Especially for the rookie Wrimo, but for all of us, Week Two is where you start to wonder how you could have ever thought writing 50,000 words in a month was a good idea.

Fear not.

Week Two is also probably the most important time for us to remind ourselves what NaNo is all about. It’s about fun, and letting our creativity run amok. It’s tough to let go of our preconceived notion of our novel when our characters come to life and start to make their own decisions for us, but that’s okay! I say to you now that if you haven’t already, now is the time to chloroform your inner editor, as one of my favourite pep talks put it. Let those characters tell you what they want to do, plot holes be damned. There’s a reason it’s called a first draft. You have the rest of the year to make it pretty.

Right now, just write. Jump around, if you have to. Get stuck? Write that silly scene that’s chapters away but you’ve been imagining for weeks. As long as it gets you to write. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing, not even for a day. Whether you’ve written ten words or ten thousand words, once you stop, it’s an even bigger challenge to get that momentum going again. Besides, at the end of it all, if you only wrote a fraction of the 50k you aimed for, that’s still more words than you had in October, and that’s something to be proud of.

So grab that coffee, sit down, and keep writing, Wrimos.

best thing write

NaNoWriMo Week 1: Writing Like a P.R.O.

(Our guest blogger today is wrimo My.Zombie.And.Me, otherwise known as Kassie. Thanks to Kassie for writing today’s post! — ML )

If you’re reading this page, it’s very possible that you’ve made the first step into taking part in this year’s National Novel Writing Month. Or you’re procrastinating on doing so. Or you’re a time traveller. These are all excellent options.

However, in the event that you’re gearing up to write away the gloomy month of November, I have some fun advice for you!

My name is Kassie, and I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo for several years now. Basically, ever since Brantford has been an official region. Between ever changing story ideas, start overs and non-starters, I have found this event to be one of the most uplifting, inspiring and insane things that a writer can do.

It’s intimidating at first, and if you’re feeling that heavy lump of self doubt, that’s okay. Even seasoned veterans get that way. The awesome thing is that you’ll be joined by lots of people who have experienced the same, and we’ll all get through it together.

The best thing I can suggest for a successful NaNoWriMo is simply to keep this acronym in mind: P.R.O. What does it stand for? “Practice Relentless Optimism.” Yes, NaNo can be stressful, and at times, frustrating, but you need to give yourself permission to be creative. Have fun. Make mistakes. Treat yourself to the same level of generosity that you give to anybody else on this crazy adventure with you.

The long and short of it is that there’s no ‘one weird trick’ to winning NaNoWriMo. Just by attempting this challenge, you’re already a winner of sorts.

So kick back, gather your writing implements of choice, a snack, and your IV drip filled with coffee. This is going to be great.

Give ‘em word filled Hell, kid!

make things happen

Welcome to NaNo 2015!

It’s here! It’s real! And it’s happening RIGHT NOW!!!

And you’re here on our site, so that’s cool too. In previous years we’ve used this space for motivational posts, notifications, or (like last year) we’ve more or less ignored that it exists. This year, we’re trying to boost our community engagement by providing you lovely Wrimosaurs with some great guest posts written by Wrimos in our region. Yay!

These posts will hopefully inspire you, make you laugh, and encourage you as you plug away at your 50,000 word goal.

Please leave a comment if you enjoy the post — everyone likes comments!

And if course, if you have an idea for a NaNo or writing-related post for this blog, please contact me (the ML) either through NaNoMail on the website or by sending an email to

Stay tuned! The guest post for Week One will arrive tomorrow so that you can start your Monday off feeling motivated to tackle the week ahead.

Write on, Wrimosaurs!