4 Reasons to Participate in NaNoWriMo


National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is an international Organization that hosts several writing events a year, generally in April, July, and November. During each month-long time frame participants are challenged to focus on meeting a specific word count goal, generally 50,000 words, which is considered the base-line for a novel’s first draft. This boils down to right around 1,666 words a day. Sounds simple, right? To some it may be, but for most it is a challenge to dedicate that much time to writing in their already busy schedules.

So, why do all of these people participate in this challenging and sometimes frustrating event? To improve their writing, for starters. Practice makes perfect, and the more you write the easier it gets. Many people also use these events to try to push out the first draft of their novels. All of that considered, there are other wonderful reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo as well.


  1. To Challenge Yourself: This is a no-brainer. Taking on a goal that is going to take up 2+hours of your time every day is going to be a challenge, but it can benefit more than just your writing and word counts. It will take self-discipline and time management. For me that has meant making myself pack my lunch the night before, keeping up with my chores on a daily basis, and limiting the time I spend doing nothing. That may not seem like much for anyone else, but it has taken daily encouragement for me to be able to keep everything going.
  2. To Develop a Writing Habit: I know a lot of participants get frustrated when life happens and they’re unable to keep up with that 1,666 word goal each and every day, but I wish they wouldn’t. Even if they only write 500 words a day, they would still have 15,000 more words written than if they hadn’t. The most important aspect of the event is the DAILY writing. So even if you can’t dedicate 2+hours a day to writing, dedicate what time you do have. I promise it will not be time wasted.
  3.  To Meet Other Writers: I’m in my 3rd round of NaNoWriMo this month, and this is the first time I’ve reached out to other Writers for encouragement and inspiration. It has been a wonderful experience thus far. I’ve reached out in my assigned “cabin” (a small community provided BY NaNoWriMo) as well as social media sites, and just knowing that there are other people out there writing and struggling alongside me has been a great motivator. So put yourself out there, this is the perfect opportunity to meet people who share your passions and interests.
  4. To Have Fun and Learn Something About Yourself: My goodness, please if you take nothing else away from this blog, take this advice: Have FUN with your writing! Whether you’re writing in an event like NaNoWriMo or just writing on your own, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy your writing time. Make it something that you look forward to every day. It’s your time, your passion or hobby, and it shouldn’t be something that adds even more stress in your life. Yes, I’d like to meet my word count every day in NaNoWriMo, but realistically I know there are going to be days that I don’t. Like today: It’s the 4th of July and I spent my afternoon with some of my closest friends playing silly games and enjoying myself. Is that bad?  Absolutely not. Could I have been spending that time writing? Yeah, sure. But it’s all about balance. Take the opportunity to learn what’s important to you and enjoy yourself!


Can I count my blog posts towards my NaNoWriMo word count? I would, but that would be cheating. =D. If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this go around tell me how you’re doing!





5 Ways NOT to Record a Presentation for Your Blog

I’m being gracious when I say 5 . I probably recorded twice that many Podcasts/Screen Captures for the book I wanted to review this week.

I HATED every single one. So, that means no book review for you and a very high level of irritation for me.

That’s what I like to call a lose-lose situation.

So, my wonderful wordsmiths talk to me about video posts. Do you use them? What programs do you use? Did you absolutely despise your first few attempts, or is that just me?


Boo Hiss.


In other news….SEVEN DAYS UNTIL CAMP NANOWRIMO. Ah shit. The pressure is on.




Camp NaNoWrimo Prep Week #3



Count down, Count down. 11 more days to go!

You’ll notice there magically wasn’t a Prep Week #2 post. I spent the time NOT blogging and NOT listening to my own advice, but that’s generally how things work.

I couldn’t spend an entire week on my characters —it felt to0 restrictive. I started diving into Motivations, Conflicts, Relationships,  Scenes…I basically drowned in my pre-writing writing for the past two weeks and loved every second of it.

Now the fun time’s over. We have a week and a day before Camp NaNoWrimo starts.

Be still, my frantic, nervous, excited heart.


Here’s what I plan to have ready to go by our deadline, in hopes of it all making my NaNo experience more successful this go ’round.

Cast: The majority of my characters I THINK I’ll need, with their first draft names and GENERAL personalities. I must say, I stumbled upon 16 Personalities and quickly fell in love with using this approach for my characters. Check it out, I doubt you’ll be disappointed!


Conflicts: Man, I think I went a little overkill on this one. I got main conflicts, side conflicts, conflicts with self, character, nature,  you name it I’ve listed a potential conflict to be included. It will be interesting for me to see which fit into the story best.

Character Goals: I have these for each  “stage” of my novel.


General Outline: This is the main thing I’ll be working on over the next week. I know where my story is starting, what direction it’s heading, and several stops along the way, but I still don’t know the scope of it. How far am I going to go with this novel? Will all the issues be resolved or will it be a series? I have a feeling it will be quite a while before I have any of those answers.


If you haven’t already, sign up for CampNano (My Username is DreamEras )and get ready for cabin assignments!

If anyone’s interested in starting a private cabin hit me up! I believe we can have up to 12 cabin-mates.





Camp Nanowrimo 2016 Prep Week #1

I have tried, and failed, to participate in Nanowrimo several times. Only once did I complete my transcript on time, and to this day (3 years later) I have yet to look at it again.

Obviously, that’s not the point of Nanowrimo. I forced myself to chug out a nonsensical transcript just to say I had. That’s pretty much a Lose/Lose situation if you ask me.

The main reason I’ve failed in my past attempts (minus not having my priorities in order) is my lack of Prep work prior to starting the challenge.

This year WILL be different. I have 4 weeks to flush out my ideas before the big day.

Nanowrimo Prep Week #1: Characters

Nanowrimo Prep Week #2: Story/Plot

Nanowrimo Prep Week #3: Goals/Conflict

Nanowrimo Prep Week #4: Rough Outline; Scenes List

Over the next week I’m going to focus strictly on my Main Characters and most important Secondary Characters.

With each Character I need to flush out their: Personalities, Backgrounds,Goals;  Likes/Dislikes; Relationships; and Roles.

I’ll create a general Character Profile for each, and by the end of the week I’ll be ready to put them into action.


What kind of Prep work are you doing for Camp Nanowrimo? Share your ideas with us!