For those who don’t know, November is known within the writing community as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s an average of 1,667 words per day — you know, easy peasy.

(Haha, not.)

I’ve participated 2 or 3 times, I think, and never won. I’m just not that speedy. But I always find this time of year exciting, as people gear up — together — to reach their lofty goals. Everyone is full of enthusiasm and ideas and advice. For example…

  • Tips from a NaNo vet
    Erin is a NaNo pro, and she’s put together a list of really helpful advice for “winning” — or, you know, just getting through the month. (#4 is particularly important.)
  • Putting the NANO in NaNoWriMo
    Over at Writer Unboxed, Jael McHenry turned NANO into an easy-to-remember guide for writing, and I think it applies far beyond November.
  • NaNoReaMo
    Natalie Whipple puts her own spin on the month of November, choosing to binge on reading instead of writing. Personally I think that’s just as valuable.
  • NaKnitBloPoMo
    Last but not least, my sister Alex has started a new blog, inspired by NaNoWriMo, where she will attempt to post 50,000 words about knitting — what it means to her, tips and tricks, specific projects, etc.

What about y’all? What are you doing for November? Writing, reading, knitting? Or just a whole lotta Thanksgiving eating?

Note: if you’re eligible, don’t forget to vote tomorrow! It’s our right, our privilege, and our responsibility.

21 responses to “National Crazy People Month”

  1. Simon Avatar

    I’m not really prepared for it this year, but I have a killer photo project in mind for next November. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so I want to create a collection of 50 images that tell some sort of story.

    I like the NaNoReaMo idea, I guess that will be my project this year :)

    Good luck!

  2. Les Avatar

    Dammit… Nano. Argh! I can’t ever do this lol, I just set myself up to faiiiil. I know I won’t this year especially, my mom is here for 6 days on Thursday ;)

  3. Alex Avatar

    :-D Thanks for the shout-out! You’re probably going to be my only reader, lol.

  4. Shari Avatar

    I’ve never done NaNo before, but I know so many people who have. Their excitement over it is absolutely contagious! I’m not participating this year – my November is going to be devoted to editing, queries, and synopses – but I definitely want to next year. Like you said, though, the most important thing about it is the passion and enthusiasm it stirs up in people. It’s such a fabulous reminder of the sense of community surrounding authors :)

  5. T.S. Bazelli Avatar

    No NaNo for me this year. I’ve never participated in it before either. I noticed a couple of people talking about NanoRevisMo on twitter, which is what I’m doing at the moment.

    What are you busy with this month? I don’t think you mentioned :)

  6. Jael Avatar

    Heh. National Crazy People Month. Sounds just about right to me… thanks for the mention, Kristan, and best of luck to all participants (and their loved ones)!

  7. Sonja Avatar

    I don’t have any specific plans for November, which didn’t seem like a character issue up until I read your post. Now I feel like a big loser without direction nor any sort of plan to accomplish anything. Thanks, Kristan.


  8. Trisha Avatar

    Work, work, work, eat Thanksgiving, work.

  9. Erin Avatar

    Thanks for the link! =P I’m not a crazy person! Okay, yes I am. (And I’ll have you know today’s 1,667 words are not easy peasy, haha.)

  10. Kim Franklin Avatar

    I seriously thought about participating, but in the end, decided against it. I am not a speedy writer and I think it would just drive me crazy! And we’ve already got the holidays for that! :)

  11. Kristan Avatar

    Omigosh, I LOVE that idea!! Definitely do it!

    Haha, I’m writing this month (and every month), but at my own pace. I’m still going to input my word counts over at, because apparently it helps them earn grants and such, but I’m not *really* participating.

    Always glad to be of service. ;)

    Gee, when you put it that way… :P

  12. Jon Avatar

    Great post! I like the enthusiasm–I started writing my screenplay yesterday in part inspired by Erin’s blog. Hey, it’s no excuses November!

  13. Torie Michelle Avatar

    It’s definitely National Crazy People Month. If one weren’t already there for even considering attempting Na[anything}WriMo, trying to write “seriously” every day for 30 days -straight- would drive him/her insane.

    That said, I’m participating in #novpad (November Poem-a-Day). I’ve actually been writing a poem (almost) every day since my birthday back in September. I won’t deny that I’m crazy…lol I’m also trying to write a short story for a contest. Fiction is so not my thing; I keep having flashbacks of my college workshop in it. Eek. But I’m still going to give it a go.

  14. Lyla Avatar

    National Crazy People Month–I love it!

    Last year NaNoWriMo got me my first complete first draft in years, so I will always love the campaign. Unfortunately, it’s NaCollAppMo for me this year… 500-word essays on how my non-existent significant experiences have defined me cannot beat novels. Just saying.

  15. Sherrie Petersen Avatar

    Great links! I’ll have to read some of them in between the 3792 words I need to write today to catch up :)

    There’s also PiBoldMo or something like that for picture book writers going on this month. I think it stands for Picture Book Idea Month.

  16. Kristan Avatar

    Torie Michelle-
    Oohh, that sounds fun too. Good luck! Seems like everyone is trying to get a lot of mileage out of November, hehehe.

    Ooo, I remember that time of year… Good luck! And no worries, you’ve got plenty of time for novels after you get into college. :P

    Shh, I need to write like 6k to catch up. I’m just not going to think about it.

  17. Mike Chen Avatar

    I’m participating unofficially — just using it as my fake deadline to finish the first draft of my new manuscript. 30k words in a month should be doable. Unfortunately, today is my first day of actually participating!

  18. Rachele Alpine Avatar

    Waaaa! I love that your sister knits! I’m obsessed with knitting…it’s my way to destress. I’ve even perfected the ability to knit and read at the same time!

  19. Kristan Avatar

    Whoa, that’s skill! I think Alex (my sister) usually watches TV.