NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month

For those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is: National Novel Writing Month.

November is National Novel Writing Month! And to avid writers, like myself, November means late nights, word wars, way too much day dreaming, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Why, you ask? Because each November, writers from all over the world challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in one month. Or, in other words, a small novel. In thirty days.


I am proud to announce that at approximately 5:20 this evening, I became a NaNoWriMo winner for the first time. Now, I am going to come clean about something. The first week of November went fabulously well. I was right on track, writing the required 1,667 words per day in order to reach the goal of 50,000 words on time. But then week two rolled around, and I fell off the NaNoWriMo band wagon. And I fell hard. I didn’t work on my novel for a week and a half. I fell 14,000 words behind. All seemed lost, and my world was spiraling into a deep, dark abyss.

Until Thanksgiving break. After much rest and rejuvenation, I began to write. It was a slow, painful process at first, but I didn’t give up. I had to win. I had to prove it to myself.

I was nearly 18,000 words behind at this point. While other Wrimos (writers participating in NaNoWriMo) were having a jolly good time in the 30,000 word realm, I was lacing up my running shoes and sprinting after them. (Literally. Word sprints are amazingly helpful. I average 500 words in ten minutes. Not too shabby, eh?)

November 24th was my first serious day of writing. I wrote 4,074 words. From that day forward, writing was my top priority. My every night during break was spent at my laptop, drinking coffee from an owl mug and hoping that my special kimono robe would bring me writer’s good luck. Turns out that it did.Natalie Juteau

Today I wrote 5,835 words (not including this blog post). That’s a new personal best.

I stand (sit?) before you today as the author of a new young adult novel, and I could not be more proud. Now, I am going to end this blog with a big thanks to the office of Letters and Light for sponsoring NaNoWriMo every year. I’m off to get a hand massage and avoid Microsoft Word for the next couple of days.

Happy writing, everyone!