It’s Time to Start Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2012

Laptop Working EarlyEvery year in November novel-writing fever takes the world by storm as writers take part in NaNoWriNo.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a fiction writing challenge founded in 1999 by Chris Baty. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30. The novels written do not need to be perfect and ready for publishing. This is a challenge about getting 50,000 words written. Think ‘first draft’.

Every year, usually around mid-October, writing blogs are buzzing about the upcoming challenge. The only problem is that by then you have precious little time to get ready. If you have never written a novel before and you want a realistic chance of beating this challenge then now is the time to start preparing.

NaNoWriMo is free to enter. There are no judges. There are also no prizes. So why bother?

Because it’s all about writing. And that’s what we do.

Every year there are thousands of “winners” who write a 50,000 word novel during November. And besides, the organizers of this challenge go out of their way to make it all as much fun as possible!

So what is NaNoWriMo really all about?
It’s about writers committing to writing
on a daily or regular basis.

Are you interested to take this year’ challenge? Then let’s do a reality check and look at a few facts.

  • 50,000 words in November works out at an average of 1,666 words per day. So you will be busy.
  • Each year the ratio of participants to winners has been similar… around 1 winner for every 6 or 7 participants.
  • In 2011 there were 256,618 participants, and 36,843 were “winners”… they reached the 50,000-word goal.

So what can you do to help your chances of winning? It all starts with being well-prepared. And that can start now. You have two and a half months until the start of this year’s challenge and if you make the most of this time you will have a huge advantage.

I have several posts lined up with some ideas on how you can use this time wisely. Let’s start with 11 specific ways that you can start preparing for NaNoWriMo 2012.

About the Author: Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is the author of 'The Indie Author's Guide to Publishing Ebooks'. He also manages several web sites for professional writers including Publish Your Own Ebooks and Worldwide Freelance.


  1. That is a great idea! I was able to write a novel a few years ago through NaNoWriMo, but haven’t even joined up in the last two years. By planning ahead and getting the research together, writing ebooks would be very doable.

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