Welcome to November, the month of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a community of people who virtually connect with each other as they spend a month each trying to write a 50,000 word novel. A month is a surprisingly doable time frame: I forget about New Year’s resolutions over the course of a year, but they are pretty memorable for at least January.

Day 62 - NaNoWriMo Day 1

In its fifteenth year, NaNoWriMo, now has forums, pep talks and support, and the website even tracks your progress. There have been numerous spin-offs from NaBloPoMo to even NaKniSweMo

I don’t have a novel in mind, but for the last couple of months, I’ve been feeling like I should do more journalling or memoir-type writing. I think this month I’ll sit down and write up various stories from my life. That’s been feeling important to me. And while I’m not officially signing up for NaNo, I’m hoping that the sense that thousands of other writers are sitting down for hours every day to write will encourage me to keep at it. I might even give it a name: NaJoWriMo (Journal Writing…?)  I could even join up into NaKniSweVeMo (my made-up Knit a Sweater Vest Month- no sleeves to knit!) knowing others are knitting sweaters.

Lately, I been thinking about communities and the ones we choose to be in. NaNo is one, our wards are another. Recently a UU minister friend of mine shared this Indigogo which made me so happy- I love seeing people reach out and find each other. I’m a big fan of making Zion wherever we are and with the people around us.

Actually, I think that would make a great NaNo: NaZiBuMo, National Zion Building Month. My ward likes to refer to community-building as creating “soulful relationships” so maybe over here in Oakland we’ll have NaSoReMo. What do you think? A month before the Christmas season and working on our Zions wherever they are?

Are you participating in NaNo? Is a month doable? Want to join me in journalling? Think we should push for a NaZiBuMo? Is all the NaNo stuff too hyped up or hokey to you?


TopHat is putting her roots down in the Bay Area with her husband and three children. She loves the earth, yarn, and bicycling.

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9 Responses

  1. I’ve participated in NaNo a few times! Unfortunately I’ve never “won” because I am a dreadfully slow writer (like baby sloth slow), but I like how it gives me a kick-in-the-pants to up my daily word count. I’d love to try NaNo again this year but I’m under editorial deadlines for a novel… Sadface.

    But! I really need to crank out a novel proposal before the end of the month so I will try to do that! NaProWriMo? Haha.

    • TopHat says:

      I’m impressed you’ve done it before. Despite being full of ideas at other times, I’ve never had an idea for a novel!

      And your proposal writing- sounds good to me! That’s kind of why I like my NaJoWriMo idea- even if I’m not writing a novel, I’m sitting down with others every day and writing- dotted all over the world are other writers having a shared experience. So write your proposal- we’re in this together!

  2. Tanya says:

    I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m doing it as a rebel (see I’m doing that this year because I’m currently in short story mode, not novel mode. I still plan to hit 50,000 words, but they’ll be in the form of several unrelated short stories.

    If anyone wants to do NaNo but doesn’t want to do a novel, sign up and be a rebel! I’m actually barely a rebel (if you do short stories that are connected, that counts as true NaNo form), but if you look at the forum I linked to, you can see pretty much anything counts.

    It’s a fun month 🙂

  3. Emily U says:

    I’ve never heard of this, so thanks for giving me something to think about! I’m trying to knit a baby sweater in time for my friend’s Thanksgiving delivery, so I’ll join you in the knitting challenge. Writing 50,000 words seems like hiking Everest to me. I’d like to do it someday, but it won’t be this year.

    • TopHat says:

      Yes, with the knitting! A baby sweater before Thanksgiving is definitely doable! I think the worst part of baby stuff is sewing it all up at the end, though. Maybe leave a week for that. 🙂

  4. Em says:

    I’m on the SlogThroughDissertationFeelsLikeLIfetime plan. SloThDiss? I would never diss a sloth. Anyway, i ahve no extra writing energy, except you know my blog and this blog and my diary and writing letters but otherwise NO writing energy. My mom and I did IronMay which is trying to complete as many Iron Man triathlons in the month of may as you can (as a team, not individually). So that was fun, putting in my running miles while she put in her swimming miles and we both got annoyed that other family members weren’t biking.

  5. jks says:

    I have to brag about my daughter. She wrote a 50K+ word novel last Nanowrimo. We ordered her a Tshirt and everything.
    She isn’t writing much anymore, but it was a good hobby for her for a couple of years and definitely helped her writing skills. She reinvents herself so often it is hard to adjust. I wonder if she is done with writing or if that is going to go away like her plan to move to Japan.

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