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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Delmari

NaNoWriMo 2019

Updated: May 21


Are you asking yourself what the heck NaNoWriMo is? Well, it's NOVEMBER! and for Writers and Novelists, November is National Novel Writing Month! aka NaNoWriMo! (Hey, I didn't name it ...)

In honor of this "festive" time, writers of all types are encouraged to write something of 50,000 words between Nov.1 and Nov.30. It was started way back in 1999 in California.

It's something that I've never really participated in, because I'm always writing novels of 50,000+ words anyway, as you can see from the Blackridge and Double Club series pages found here on my website.

A lot of pressure comes with this month, too. The goal is to write 50,000 in 30 days. For someone who is not used to that, it can be a very daunting task. That's almost an entire book, considering the average/acceptable length of a decent sized manuscript is 80,000 words. If you have around 2,000 words a chapter, that can be around 15 chapters to go once you've written up to the 50,000 word mark.

There are pros/cons to all of this, of course. The POSITIVE aspects are: If you are working toward a deadline for a publisher (whoever goes that route these days) writing 50k words can prepare you for that mindset. Additionally, if you have a term paper or work project that you also need to finish, it can help to put things into perspective. You can see how you write under pressure and how your creative energies flow or halt, depending on your method.

The NEGATIVE aspects are fierce. Writer's Block, anxiety, fear of failure, depression, fear of not accomplishing your goals, losing contracts, not meeting deadlines ... yeah. There are a lot of negative aspects to this kind of thing, but that's NOT always a bad thing. If you want to become a writer, this time needs to be either experienced or ignored. It just depends on what you want to do. You can see how you handle the negative aspects and maybe grow from it.

If you are writing for fun, then don't worry about it. If you want to challenge yourself, then go for it! Just remember not to make it into something stressful. If you come away from NaNoWriMo with a negative feeling, that could possibly affect the way you write going forward. You don't want that. Writing is fun and it's very rewarding.

Personally, I think writing under pressure is awful, which is why I've always decided to go the self-publishing route. I want the freedom to create. Pressure of any kind is never good. Some people thrive on that, others do not. I do not. If I have to meet a deadline at work, that's a different thing. That is work.

Novel writing is something that I've done nearly all of my life, so when I see everything that goes into NaNoWriMo, it makes me sit back and think about all of the aspects involved in that kind of writing challenge (per se.) There are pros and cons, yes. You get out of it what you put into it.

I have already started my LGBT science fiction book, so I won't be stopping that in order to write something else for the "festivities." I'm clocked in at 48,643 words as of this blog entry, so that's well past the range of words needed for the event this month. I wanted to write about NaNoWriNo and offer my insight into the process because now that I'm more out there with my work, I'm paying attention to what's going on in the writing community.

I think this is a good time for someone who wants to write to get started. I do. Taking into consideration all of the negative aspects of this challenge, though, I'd caution anyone to just take it easy and have fun with it. There's no need to get frustrated about it. Writing books is hard work. There is a LOT that goes into the planning and structure of a decent-sized novel. If I wanted to participate in something like NaNoWriMo, I would have to have an idea of what I was going to work on, that's for sure.

But, knowing myself, once the plot came together and the words started to flow, it would be easy to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. 30 days is a long time and I believe that if I was writing novels full time, I could definitely crank out a book a month. Even with a full-time day job and writing in the evenings after work, I have done it before with Blackridge: Battlegrounds (3 weeks) and The Double Club III (18 days) so I know I can do it. Granted, those books already had books before them generating plots and story-lines, so it was fairly easy for me to accomplish. Just sayin'.

I really need to remember not to do that. I kinda like to see how fast I can write a decent book and that's not the point. I am fortunate enough that the books written quickly were also very good quality (according to my editor and proofreader) so there's that. Otherwise, I take my time and I WILL NOT write if I do not feel like writing. The magic happens on its own. Always has.

So, in closing, if you have ever wanted to just write something, now is the time! Fire up that shiny, white, blank Word Document and get crackin'! See what you can do. Write and enjoy. Write fast. Write hard. Create and let yourself go! Or ... sit back and do a turtle. Write slow. Take your time. Write and enjoy. Create and let yourself go that way, too.

Either way, however you want to do it, just have fun ... because that's what it's all about.

More information on NaNoWriMo can be found here:

and here, because it's also a non-profit organization:


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