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4 Reasons why NaNoWriMo won’t stink this year

Here we go: so it begins! November 1 is upon us and the official starting gun for NaNoWriMo fired 7 hours and 47 minutes ago. I’m already behind!! Here’s how I’m planning to stay focused and cross the 50,000 word finish line:

Absorbed in the Story

First off, I’m hoping to stay disciplined. I know I’m not going to output over a thousand words a day on hopes and prayers. I’m setting aside intentional time in the morning (my most creative time) to produce some good writing. Also, I’ve been careful to absorb the world of All Right, which has helped me to get excited about the characters and the story.

A Man with a Plan (for once)

Second, I have a reasonable outline for the first time, well, ever. I’ve always been a writer who relies on really strong characters coming to life, and then kind of sluffs over the plot portion of the story: I’ll figure it out as I go along. This tends to make for incredibly strong, emotional scenes, but they’re disconnected one-offs adrift in a plot that’s largely boring. I finally have a plot outline, and while it’s not the best plot (yet), it’s a concrete direction to drive in.

If you don’t like the rules, cheat!

Third, I cheated. Oops! I’m starting the month with 11,191 words in my draft already. That’s four chapters! This one’s more of a technicality: I’m not following the official NaNoWriMo program so much as I am trying to finish a novel draft here. I knew that I would fail miserably if I tried to sit down on November 1st (today) and write 1,667 words, which is the official pace when you’re starting from scratch. So I’ve been working on the draft for a week and a half already. And hey, this cuts my daily word requirement down to 1,293 words — which is hardly a cakewalk, folks!

Swim in the Current

Fourth, and hopefully most importantly, I have a few friends who are going to help me (much like when my wife ran a marathon, except this time, I’m not running, just sitting and typing, which is much more my style). My wife Alisha, of course, puts up with these shenanigans and encourages me. My friend Elizabeth of Woven Glass is a co-sufferer in NaNo, so commiseration will be had. And finally, I started a little community called Current that I’m hoping will take off.

Current is a place to share your writing, to get motivation, and to produce beautiful content. Right now, we’re beta-testing and we’re very (intentionally) small. We’re looking for writers who are looking for a small community to spur them on in their writing. If you’d like to become a part of Current, send me an email at with a good reason why (you’re a writer, a good reason should be simple).

And we’re off to the races! I hope your November is as good as mine is shaping up to be. I’m looking forward to having a completed draft in 30 days (if all goes well), and I’ll see you on the flipside!

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