Shelley Widhalm

Reflections on NaNoWriMo (and Writing in General)

In 52: A Writer's Life, Blogging, NaNoWriMo, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on December 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Every year, I come up with an excuse explaining why I don’t want to do NaNoWriMo, or participate in National Novel Writing Month in November.

The main hangar for me is I work and after work, I like to do a little writing, read and play. At the same time, I want to be with all the other writers meeting together to write like crazy or working alone, writing like crazy.

So this year, I told enough friends that I’m doing NaNoWriMo and put it on my Facebook account, so that I would be accountable. I didn’t want to tell people, “Oh, I quit after Day 2.”

First, I decided to write 50,000 words, cutting down my normal aim of 75,000 to 90,000 words for a full manuscript. However, I am back at the 70,000, maybe 80,000, words for my young adult novel, because I either write short – i.e. short stories – or long up to 100,000 words.

I usually don’t write with much of a draft either, but this time I planned ahead, mentally sketching out plot, character and setting. I wrote a 3,000-word short story for a 10-week Meetup class I took this fall that served as a starting point, so that I could fill in areas where I alluded to or glossed over possible action and character interaction.

I came up with a title, so that I already had a topic and an identity for my writing.

Add in that I didn’t have to find different subjects to blog about for a month, so I liked the idea of already having a template to use.

Now, I’ll return to blogging about writing and the writing life.

(Check out Zoey the Dachshund’s reponse to NaNoWriMo at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: