What is NaNoWriMo?

Learn about NaNoWriMo inside! Part 1 of a 2-part series discussion NaNoWriMo and the writing process!


Hi everyone,

As many of you may know, this last year (time wise, not 2016 wise) I participated in both NaNoWriMo 2015 (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo2016 (July). I’ve compiled my thoughts on the experience so you can see if NaNoWriMo is right for you! This is the first post, detailing how the programs are similar and how they differ. The second one will focus on what I like and what I think could be improved

So what is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. This challenge is run by (strangely enough) National Novel Writing Month, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers sponsorship, awards, and support for the aspiring writer in all of us. NaNoWriMo has two parts – I’ll talk about them separately.

First, Camp NaNoWriMo is a summer writing program that occurs in both April and July, and is flexible. You pick a goal between 30,000 and 1 million words. The ‘rewards’ for winning are discounts at a variety of sites, ranging from the ‘Camp Store’ that NaNoWriMo runs, to sites like Book Baby, Storyist, and InkedVoices. Camp is a lot less stressful as a project because you don’t have to write as much. Got a novella or a smaller project to work on, great! Do it! The rewards are also smaller and less ‘reward’ than discounts. One thing I really like is that you get joined into a ‘Cabin’ where your teammates and you can chat about your projects. You can also see everyone’s projects and goals along the side, which is pretty cool.

NaNoWriMo2016 Award!
Get a Cool Poster and a pretty Snazzy Banner for your website too!

NaNoWriMo is their normal contest, run in November. This last November, I typed about 38,000 words in Steel Praetorian, missing my goal of 50,000 words. Obviously, holidays and the like interfere sometimes. This contest is more strict – 50,000 words or more. Meaning you need about 1700 words per day to really get to it. Together, they’ve helped me finish Steel Praetorian (Almost all of my writing this year has happened in July and November!)

NaNoWriMo Page

So… Will you be joining NaNoWriMo this year? Stay tuned for my 2nd part with my thoughts on the process!

Author: Daniel Ottalini

Author of the Award-Winning Steam Empire Chronicles Series

4 thoughts on “What is NaNoWriMo?”

  1. NaNo Camps are real fun, and with the custom goals, you’re not terrified of missing your word count goals. NaNoWrimo for me, however, is the real adventure, and the only time I know for sure I do everything I can to write (obsessed with hitting the winner badge, I’m afraid). It does miracles to my ever-present procrastination.
    Good luck with your NaNo novel, are you doing any prepping?

    1. Actually I love getting the winner badge as well! The little graph going up really motivates me as well. As far as prepping goes, I’m outlining the novel as far as I can using google docs, so I can work on it everywhere I go as needed, and I can easily adapt and move stuff around. I used to do it manually via a journal, but after having to rewrite in the journal and ending up with 3 different outlines of Iron Tribune, I switched to an online outline!

      1. Google docs sounds like an interesting idea. For me I use Evernote for the prepping (multiple notebooks and searchable tags), and a simple txt file (on google drive) for the actual writing. I tried different text processors, and the MS notepad is by far the most comfortable for me.
        The files is accessible everywhere thanks to Drive, and I have Evernote on my phone for those out-of-nowhere hits of inspiration.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: