Deep in the heart of NaNo!


Andi here, with a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) update.

So I’m keeping up a pretty decent NaNo clip, trying to stay around 2000 words a day, give or take a couple hundred. I didn’t actually get started until Day 2, but I wrote like a mofo the days after that and I’m actually ahead of projected schedule, now. WOOOO!


I’m writing an urban fantasy-ish thing involving paranormal cray lurking in plain sight of the human world, which is always a fun formula to dabble in. It’s a project I’ve had on my mind for a couple of years and I decided to use NaNo to finally just write the damn thing. I’m envisioning it as the first in a trilogy. We’ll see.

And here’s my check in with all of you doing this crazy writin’ thang with literally thousands of other people around the world, which is really cool because writing is generally a solitary pursuit, but it’s always a good thing to get other people’s thoughts and energy around you when you’re hammering away on a project with a deadline.

For those of you who have been thinking about writing a novel some day, I strongly recommend you give NaNo a try, and here are five reasons why, in this handy bullet-pointed list:

  • It’s about discipline. Writing, like any skill, requires discipline. You stick to it to get the job done. Professional writers of all kinds keep schedules and use them.
  • It provides structure. Productive and efficient writers ensure they have all the tools ready to go for a writing session. When you close the door to your home office or find that table at the coffee house and begin your session, that time is YOURS, and it’s about WRITING.
  • It helps with organization. NaNo teaches you what strategies might work best for you, and because it’s providing a schedule, structure, and stat-tracker, it’s helping you create the organization/approach that works best for you as a writer.
  • It encourages you to make new contacts. These contacts could become beta readers/writing colleagues for you, and it’s good to have outside perspectives that are going to be honest and give you solid critique.
  • It gets you used to writing on a deadline. Even though NaNo is about GOALS more than about “winning,” it’s still a deadline-oriented exercise, and that’s something professional writers have to do all the time, is work on a deadline.

NaNo gives you a sense of what it’s like to be a writer, if you were curious about what a professional writer does. Even if you’re not, NaNo is a great exercise for you to try something different, meet new people, and maybe accomplish something for yourself that you’d been thinking about doing but didn’t know how to go about it. NaNo is perfect for that, too, because it has that built-in structure (see above), and offers all kinds of forums, writing tips, and pep talks. It’s a great site to peruse no matter what level of writer you are.

So if you missed this NaNo (though you can jump in at any time in November and write to a specific word goal for yourself), give it a think for next year, especially if you’re wondering about this writing stuff and what it’s all about.

Except if you’re holed up in a creepy, empty, haunted hotel in the Colorado mountains for a winter…maybe don’t do NaNo. Instead, go back to civilization ASAP.

AAAAAAAAHHHHH! BAD NANO!!!!!! Plz don’t do this kthx

And if you ARE doing NaNo this year, stop by the Dirt Road Books Facebook page. We’ve got a whole NaNo cabal going on over there, with write-ins every Saturday on the main Facebook page and the NaNo Challenge, in which we give you about a month after the end of November to get your completed NaNo (50,000 words minimum) draft in submission shape and send it in to us for an assessment/beta read.

Happy Friday, Happy NaNo, and may the odds be ever in our favor!