Monday, November 1, 2010


As many of you no doubt know, today marks the first day of NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. A 50,000 word novel from scratch in 30 days. Writers from all over the world creating “laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.”

I’ve never taken the plunge. I am masochistic enough to want join the crazy, coffee-stoked camaraderie of thousands of stressed-out writers trying to make good on 1,667 words a day. But I know I can’t commit to it this time around. I have too much other stuff going on, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

But I am overdue for a self-imposed writing challenge, a tough-love, no-excuses project. And if it’s going to happen in 2010, it must happen in November, the last productive month of the calendar year. Once December hits, life becomes all about holiday craziness. And that’s the way it should be. I want to be able to enjoy the trappings of the season—the decorating, the shopping, the baking, the cheesy TV specials—without my guilty conscience hanging out on my shoulder jabbing me in the ear with a sharpened quill. (My conscience is seriously old-school.)

I didn’t have to look too far for my challenge. All I had to do was think of the thing I’ve been procrastinating the most all year long. Querying. Yes, that wonderful, necessary, frustrating endeavor which is also known as “rejection collection.” I queried sparsely for the first few months of the year. Then, for various reasons which seemed valid at the time, I gave myself permission to take the summer off. (This is the part where I sidestep all responsibility and blame the weather for the fact that my ‘summer’ has stretched all the way to the end of October.)

Beginning today, November 1, I’m back on the query horse. Yes, it’s my own NoCoQuerMo (Northern Colorado Query Month). I have long and short fiction manuscripts that are tired of languishing on my hard drive, so for the next thirty days, I’ll be researching markets and agents, polishing synopses and query letters, and sending submissions. I hope to have some nibbles by the end of the month. Even if I don’t, I’ll be farther along than I am now.

What are your plans for November? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If not, have you given yourself a personal challenge? Either way, let us know so we can cheer you on!
(Comic used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at


Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you!
No NaNo for me, but I'm continuing revisions on my WIP.
Get lots of nibbles and reel some in :)

bfav said...

I'm in for NaNo but I'm middle grade. So I'm shooting for a solid 40K. Good luck with querying. That's my goal for Jan 2011.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Don't write fast enough for NaNo. Have too many projects on my plate.
My project is to set priorities.

Jenny said...

Thanks, fellow writers. I hope November is a productive month for all of us!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Great cartoon.

I’m not doing NaNo, but I certainly admire all those who are up to the challenge.

I have set my goal for November to finish an editing job that should have been months ago.

Good luck with your queries.

Cinette said...

I haven't won NaNo yet, and this will be my third year. Winning isn't my goal. I need to force my way past my internal editor that has me constantly going back over every sentence only minutes after writing it. I haven't yet met today's total, and I've already started going back over it! Maybe my goal should be that I have to write 2000 words a day before I'm allowed to go back over it;-)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I had a moment of sanity during which I talked myself out of NaNoWriMo. However, I'm starting a new novel this month. So far I've written a total of zero words. I'll keep you posted on my progress. :)

Jenny said...

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your November goals.

Cinette, I'm a compulsive re-writer, too. I'm not sure I could break that habit for NaNo.

Pat, do keep us posted!

Patti Struble said...

I am on the NaNo wagon & the sado-maso has set in. I'm pushing 3k a day for 90k by the end of the month. So far, I am still sane - whatever that may be. Of course, it's only day 2. I'll let ya know when the tears crash the door.
Good luck to everyone & their endevs for the month!!

Kerrie said...

I can't even imagine doing a book in a year much less one month. I like your idea of a query writing month. I hope--I mean I will get a couple sent out next week.

Jenny said...

Love all this productive November energy.

Go, Patti!

Guinevere said...

I'm doing NaNo, but I love the idea of NoCoQuerMo! Fantastic idea. Best of luck. :)

Jenny said...

Thanks, Guinevere. I hope NaNo is going well for you!

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