NaNoDreamOn: how am I ever going to write 50,000 words in 30 days?
Photo credit: ClaraDon / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

After months of anticipation, it’s almost time. I’m wiping my feet on the Welcome mat outside the door to the NaNoWriMo House of Fun. So, why do I have a sudden urge to pick up my petticoats and run as fast as I can in the opposite direction?

Here’s my five stages of NaNoWriMo:

  1. CURIOSITY: 50,000 words in a month? Sounds intriguing. I wonder if I could do that? How does it work? Where do I sign up? Do I get a prize (shameless reward-seeker that I am)?
  2. RESEARCH: Questions, yay! That means research, and that means many mindless hours browsing the internet. My fave occupation.
  3. EXCITEMENT: I think I can actually do this! I may even write the greatest novel of all time. I’ll win awards and buy a big house and a chauffeur.
  4. PLANNING: Time to get ready. I can’t just expect to go into this completely blind (pumped as I am with an unrealistic belief in NaNo’s ability to spin my words into gold). I need characters, settings, story arcs. I need an idea. I litter the floor with scraps, scribbling, post-its. I’m ready. I’m so ready.
  5. THE FEAR, or rather the sheer blind panic. Why did I ever think I could do this? 1,666 words a day? Every day? For a whole month? Am I deluded? I’m a short story writer, I don’t even do novels. As they say in comic-land, aaaaAAARRRGGH!

And that’s where I am now, Stage Five. I’m hoping there’s a Stage Six or a fast track back to Stage Three (I really enjoyed that one), but for now I’m just going to crawl back under the duvet of despair and hibernate.

Wake me up when it’s December.
Photo credit: Miss Jo|我是周小姐 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND







140 thoughts on “NaNoDreamOn: how am I ever going to write 50,000 words in 30 days?

  1. This is all so so so so true! I tried planning, but now I think I’m going through stage 4.5… my lack of confidence in these plans, and my needing to constantly alter the plans to “make it easier.” Nice post! Congrats on FP! ~


    • Thanks nerdwithtaste (I was going to go for just ‘nerd’ but didn’t want to seem too forward). FP was exhausting but a lot of fun. I’m about to post a new bit about NaNo which might be useful for you. Keep your eye out for it!


  2. I’m starting to panic at this point. I’ve been revising my outline for days when I thought I had it ironed out. At least I know I’m not alone in my terror!


  3. This is my first year attempting NaNoWriMo and I’m pretty sure you just described exactly what I’m feeling! Glad to know I’m not alone! I’m currently a mix of 3,4,5… But I’m just going to dive in headlong! I mean it should be good experience anyway? Right?

    🙂 Good luck!!!


    • Diving in headlong is exactly where I am now! Just read a bit of your story “The Junk” – beautifully written, and I will read more when I get the chance. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with NaNo (although it is all about the word count). Let me know how you get on.
      best of luck 🙂


  4. I agree with your five stages for NaNoWriMo. When I sat down to try and come up with an idea for my story, I thought I’d be sat down forever. Then I checked my notepad app Evernote (well good) and there it was. An idea. Now I’m all set. Once you’ve got that idea, you’ll be golden.
    Thanks for liking my blog post on NaNoWriMo. If you fancy being witiing buddies for it, my user name on the offical nanowrimo site is johnrsermon. If not, thanks again and good luck with your novel.


    • Hi John
      I’m over Stage 5 now, or at least I’ve forced myself to stop thinking about it, which is kind of the same thing, right? I think I have an idea and it’ll be fun finding out if it’ll work or not. Best of luck with your NaNo – I’ll do the buddy thing when I next log on. Only a day and a bit to go!


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