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As we say goodbye to 31 Days of Halloween, friends, we can now turn our attention to our next adventure – NaNoWriMo 2014. I don’t wish to alarm you, but if you haven’t been paying attention to the calendar (or the prepping posts we’ve been running this week), NaNo starts tomorrow. Or exactly at the stroke of midnight if you’re either a go-getter (blergh) or don’t have any costume-related activities planned for the evening (also blergh).

NaNo 2014 banner

For the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a sacred rite of passage in which people with more ideas than sense attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. “Sure,” you say, “that sounds easy. 50,000 words? I tweet that much a month.” To you, I reply, “Shut your gobhole.”

NaNoWriMo logo50,000 words in thirty days is approximately 1,667 words written daily, which is generally easy to achieve in the heady rush of the first week, and becomes progressively harder as one settles into the actual grind of writing, which is way less romantic than the idea of writing. The Romantic Idea of Writing involves, like, garrets and endless cups of tea, and inspiration that arrives fully formed like Athena popping out of Zeus’s head, a birth that’s high on drama and low on the pain and humiliation scale. Actual Writing is a boring grind of sitting down every day, trying to reach a word count that seems impossible, convincing yourself that all your ideas are terrible, and passing up all your social engagements because you’re finally “working on that novel.” You do get to have tea in this scenario as well.

So who’s with me? This is my seventh year of participating in NaNoWriMo and I’ll be checking in every Friday on PMag with hints, tips, and commiseration. I give you permission to look away from your word count to check in with us and let the rest of the PMaggers know how it’s going for you.

Fun Stuff:
Looking for a calendar? WalkingDarkness from Deviantart offers this Avengers theme.


David Seah, investigative designer, updated his yearly word count calendar for this cycle.

davidseah nanowrimo-2014-calendar

JuliaAMz offers this typewriter desktop calendar.


The NaNo forums offer a bevy of other choices.
I personally use WriteTrack, an online calendar that tracks your daily word count and auto-adjusts your goals as appropriate.