How Do You Use NaNoWriMo?


It’s November and NaNoWriMo is in full swing! If you aren’t aware, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. For the entire month of November, writers all over the world are sitting down and challenging themselves to write 50,000 words, roughly the size of a short novel. It’s a great way to consume mass amounts of coffee, come out of the writing cave to interact with real-not-made-up-humans, and knock out work with a one-two pass of the keyboard.

Coffee shops and cafes are a little more full with all the working writers. I love to be sneaky and creep over people’s shoulders to see what project they are creating. (So if somebody tall is lurking over your shoulder, its probably me.) Overheard whispered conversations of plot and character make me that much more excited to get back to my own imaginary words.

NaNo makes November a magical month. Even if you don’t finish your 50k. Which, confession time, I never actually have. Ha. But that doesn’t make me love the magic any less.


I’ve noticed though, since becoming a published author it’s been a little harder for me to participate. My deadlines never seem to line up to leave November free for me to work on a new project. Even I’m not under a hard deadline, I normally have edits to finish.

This usually means I don’t dance in the land of magical shiny newness, but end up sludging through to the end.

This month, I’m finishing up a round of edits on WHEN DREAMERS FALL. I’m hoping to use all the excitement as motivation to propel myself to the end. Prepare for my Instagram to be taken over by tea and coffee pictures and cute writer planner stickers. If I have any extra time, I’m hoping to work on that shiny new something-something, but it certainly won’t be a complete first draft by the time December rolls around.

Are you a writer who uses NaNo for the traditional first draft of a new novel? Or are you a writer who uses the deadline to get extra editing completed? Or do you use Nano in an entirely new way?

Or, if you aren’t participating in NaNo this year, what’s holding you back?

abby-j-reed-headshot-smilingABOUT ABBY:
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if.She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

WHEN PLANETS FALLAbby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at

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