#IWSG: It's NaNo Time: to join, or not to join


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are  Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton! Be sure you drop in on them and see what they have to say!

Every month, the IWSG poses an optional question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story, and can offer something to get you started!

The November question: November is National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo]. Have you ever participated? Why or why not?

To that, I'm adding my own, are you participating this year?


I suggested last week that it's time for me to think about NaNo again, only to realize that by the time this posts up, it would be under way! That's kind of how I've been in relation to time for quite a while now. A bit lost. 

To begin with the first part of the official question, I have done NaNo 6 or 7 times, though a couple of those were as a "NaNo Rebel" where I worked on editing a novel or assembling an anthology.

If I'm in the right place to pound out a draft in November (i.e., not in the middle of editing something else, or too early in the development stages, or traveling the world, or...) I have found it to be a helpful way to add an energy boost to the process. I do think my drafts come out best when I start with a good plan and then blast through the first draft as quickly as possible. All the silly NaNo gimmicks help keep me focused, and add a layer of accountability that I need. (I guess that answers the "why?" part of the question.) 

So am I going to do it this year? Well, yeah. I'm not quite ready to start, so I'll probably spend the first several days continuing to work on my outline/plan for the novel ("outline" always seems a bit too formal for what I generally start with). I'm also spending the last 2 weeks of the month, less some time out for Thanksgiving, at a solo writer's residency, so that lends itself well to the "write like hell until it's done" approach.

Since NaNo targets 50K words, and my novels run 80K+, I''m not sure I've ever totally finished in the 30 days. But I have always kept on after the end of the month until I am done, and that's the plan this time. I don't yet know what is going to happen with the first novel in my new "Seffi Wardwell Investigates" series (tentative series name, for want of something more creative), but I'm going ahead with the next, having put a lot of thought into a better understanding of my main character. I may need to talk about that as I go.

So there's the longish answer! How about you? If you are doing NaNo, want to buddy up? Also--do you participate in the local live events? 

Nov. 1 update: I took a long hard look at what I have in terms of notes and an outline... and started writing. I hit 2200 words in two writing sessions. It's a good feeling.

 Write on, wherever you find yourself!


©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
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  1. Hi,
    I'm participating in NaNo this year. I'm working on the second book in my series.
    All the best. I too was very satisfied with my word count from the first. It's because I had already outlined my book and only had to start writing from my outline.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. It really isn't for everyone. And I think they chose one of the hardest months on purpose--I guess on the theory that if you can write every day in November with the holidays and all, you can do it any time.

  3. That's all great news! Keep up the good work. :)

    1. Thanks :) I'm hoping I've got a better grip on my character now.

  4. Hi Rebecca!
    I love that you "write like hell" on past the end of the month until you're done. Excellent plan! I'm not participating in NaNo this year, but after meeting so many inspirational past and present participants today, that could change by next year ;-)
    Very best wishes!

    1. 50,000 words (the standard NaNo target) is pretty short to call it a novel, so I know it's going to take more than that. And I also know that momentum is of great importance when I'm writing, so I just keep going!

    2. Also--frustrated that I couldn't comment on your blog. Blogger is still playing games with us.

  5. Hi Rebecca. I think to make NaNo work for you you have to be a Nano rebel. Good for you. I hate anyone telling me to write so many words per day. I do it at my own pace and am pretty happy.

    1. I think sometimes I need someone telling me to do more. It's too easy to be lazy, in my position.

  6. I love NaNo too! I love the fact that so many people are focused on creating at the same time. Creating make the world a better place in so many ways! Here's to ALL the words - have fun!

  7. Even though I never participated in NaNo and don't ever plan to, I admire people who do it. I'll cheer for you.

  8. Good luck with NaNo this year! I'm definitely feeling off on my timing and constantly behind right now.

  9. a solo writers residency sounds fantastic!
    and i too need some form of an outline to write my stories — i have to know where it’s supposed to go, even if it veers off-course in the process!
    good luck!
    Tara Tyler Talks


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