Happy NaNoWriMo

Nov. 1st marks the kick off to a 30 day race to write 50k words in your very own novel. Several hundred thousands, if not a couple millon folks are coming along with you for this journey. 50k words seems like a whole lot and they are, until you realize most of your favorite books are more than 50k.

However, when you break those 50k words up over 30 days. You wind up with a more manageable 1,750. I rounded cause 1,667 is not a nice round number. And if you do write 1,750 a day for 30 days you will have written 52,500 words. There by winning NaNoWriMo and holding in your hot little hand the beginnings of your novel.

A lot of “serious” writers don’t look fondly on NaNo, due to the highly unorthodox method. Writing so fast so you can out write your inner editor and inner critic and just get the story down. Naturally a first draft of anything isn’t very pretty. Ernest Hemingway, himself said that. And if he thought his first drafts stunk…

There are a few brave souls that will publish or have their project printed just to have a physical book they wrote. Some folks will go on and edit, rewrite, and polish that rough hunk of coal until they get their diamond. Some folks will say, “whew that was fun.” And never think anymore about it. Those are all perfectly fine methods, your words, your rules.

The main goal of NaNo is to give yourself permission to write crappy. The deadline is to keep you moving instead of getting hung up on editing and polishing. That comes after you have finished writing your first draft. Think of the first draft as a frame work. The editing and rewriting is fleshing out the frame.

I wish you all the best luck on this journey of writing and discovering the stories you have within yourself. Cheers, james

Camp NaNo Ho

If you don’t understand, google Thundercats, and I will leave it at that.

Well Camp NaNo is finally here. I applaude all you writers that are taking up the challenge. And I encourage those of you sitting beside me on the bleachers, try it. No I am not being a hypocrite by not jumping into camp this year again.

I have tried both Camp and NaNoWriMo and I literally lose myself and what is going on for the month. This works great if two of your worst months at work aren’t July and November. Local Gov’t is awesome, love my job and I want to keep my job so distractions are out for the time being.

That being said, I do write on the weekends and weekend nights when my brain isn’t fried. In fact one of my last posts was about a new story idea. So Camp NaNo-ers Ho!

May the muse sing sweetly in your dreams, your pen fly fast and furious and word counts speed by until tired but thrilled you close out and validate for the win. Cheers, james


I am a few days late on this post. NaNoWriMo started November 1. I would like to say “Go get ’em writers.”

To the folks standing on the outside looking in, “You can do this. Writing is letting the emotions and story in your soul out in a physical manifesation.”

To all of you I wish you the very best. May your words come fast and furious, your plots ride dragons into battle and your fingers not cramp.

Cheers and Happy NaNo. Now go put your fingers to writing. james

NaNoWriMo 2018 Goals

It has been three years since I last participated in NaNoWriMo. I focused so much on my writing that the entire month was a blur. And I couldn’t remember anything about it that wasn’t writing related. It scared me. So that summer I thought maybe I could participate in Camp NaNo and it wouldn’t be quite as intense. Well I had fun and wrote about 10K words. And that was pretty much the last serious writing I have done, excepting my journal and this blog. Although the blog has suffered greatly by my neglect. I do apologize for that. Life and myself got in the way.

What does a non-writing writer know about writing?

That question haunted me and it still rears it’s nasty lil head up every so often. However the answer to that is this, putting words on the page. No it may not be the world’s greatest piece of writing. But it has brought me back to the page and to the words. So I have decided to give NaNoWriMo another chance. Except this time it will be on my terms. Since I got so wrapped up in my writing I am cutting down my word count to 750 words per day. And I am going to start writing now, however it will not count towards the final word count. If I can get started on and maintain the 750 words then some days the words may fly fast and furious and some days maybe not. But I will be writing and that my friends is what counts most.


  • Start writing now, thru November 30th
  • Daily word count 750 vs 1667 
  • Rebuild my writing skill and confidence
  • Have fun and enjoy writing again
  • Keep blogging 

So these are my goals and I think I can keep up with them. Fingers crossed. So what goals are you setting for your NaNo writing prep season. Are you thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo? There are great resources available at nanowrimo.org

Cheers, james

Writing Prep

NaNoWriMo is coming! NaNoWriMo is coming!

Ah that time of the year is soon to be upon us. The time when people go nuts from now until December 1st. Thank you Mr. Chris Beatty, as if the holidays need any extra craziness. Or could it be a refuge from the holiday insanity that takes over. Hmm food for thought for another post.

Pantser or Planner

First you need to decide which approach or a combonation approach you want to use. A “pantser” as defined NaNoWriMo.org is someone that is flying by the seat of their pants. Winging it, free spirited etc. approach to writing.

A “planner” is someone that plans, outlines, notes and thoroughly prepares for their writing. Anithesis of pantser.

Personally I like the combo of the two. Plenty of notes on world building, character sketches, a basic mind map of the how, when, where and whatfors. But with enough room to make a run into left field if that is where the story goes. Except I never get that far into my planning. Oh well there is always a first time.

Despite best attempts to get back into writing I haven’t. Either too much stress or just plan lack the fire and drive. Usually when life hits the fan is when my writing ramps up to help me escape the stress of the “real” world. So I am considering another run at NaNo this year.

Two months to prepare and get things organized with several story ideas in my head and also a couple of stories that I have been working on for several years. I think I can do it.

So the question you need to ask yourself is pantser or planner? Or maybe its NaNo or not to NaNo? As those answers will guide you into a writing adventure. Cheers, james

NaNo prep course

I got a cool facebook post and an email from NaNoWriMo. They are partnering with Coursera and Weslynn College for a NaNo prep course. Wow! The course is based up of 5 classes starting August 21. First 4 are preparing you for the acutal writing. The last class is the really awesome part, the focus is on editing and peer reviews of your NaNo project. 

All in all this course is a huge committment to your writing and for $29 is a worthwhile investment in yourself. If you ever wanted to write or thought about taking part of NaNoWriMo but felt shaky on your writing skills. This course and this price is a great place to start. 

Food for thought this summer evening, james