NaNoWriMo 2012: The First Check In

It seems a little cheap to hold the first check in 24 hours after the month starts, but the calendar is the king here, and it’s the first Friday of NaNo. So I’ll say that I hope everyone kicked off the month on a bountiful writing note. If you’ve somehow managed to write more than the basic 1667 count, feel free to boast about it in the comments.

Text image: NaNoWriMo begins in 0 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes, and 0 secondsIf you’re late to NaNo, you’re in luck! You’re only a day behind schedule. Finish reading this post, make note of my wise words, and pull up a copy of Open Office and get cracking.


Since there’s not a lot of business to do at this point, let’s talk fun.


If you’re not a novel writer but want to partake in all the fun, BlogHer is running NaBloPoMo, which is an even unwieldier acronym than NaNoWriMo. But basically they’re encouraging 30 days of blogging. Having just done (almost a whole) month of daily blogging for 31 Days of Halloween, it’s more of a challenge than one might think.

Are you looking for a writing program a little more robust than Office? I’m a big fan of Scrivener, a writing platform that allows for outlining, chapter and scene break downs, easy scene reordering, a pinboard for images, research, and music, and more. They offer a 30 day free trial and anyone who “˜wins’ NaNo gets a 50% off code to buy the program. Scrivener is available for Mac, PC, and Linux.

yWriter is another writing program that gets great reviews. I don’t use it personally and can’t vouch for it, but many fine fellow writers love it.

Looking to brow beat youself about what your word count should be? This thread on the NaNoWriMo website has lots of great calendar based desktop backgrounds so you’ll never, ever, get away from feeling behind on your count.

Written? Kitten rewards your productivity with a kitten every time you reach goal.

For us masochists, WriteorDie yells at you when you stop writing for too long or don’t meet your goal within the chosen time frame.

There. I hope you enjoyed your brief break from your taskmaster. Now get back to writing!

Animated gif of Ron Swanson typing on a typewriter, captioned "I'm going to type every word I know! Rectangle. America. Megaphone. Monday. Butthole."

(PS, how’s that going for you anyway?)

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

15 replies on “NaNoWriMo 2012: The First Check In”

I’m ahead, so I have a buffer in case I lose steam, but what I’ve written so far is a lot of filler (read: crap). And I’m not writing linearly (a practical, not a stylistic choice), so everything right now is really disorganized.

In other words, I’m doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do. I understand the point of NaNoWriMo is to make that pesky inner editor shut up, but I like having her around a little.

Doing well so far! I’m just trying to comprise some kind of schedule for how to write with my day job and stuff. I’m at 3,416 words right now and I’ve got the first write-in of the year tomorrow. Soooo excited because these write-ins are great places for me to boost my word count. If I can get ahead this weekend, the week will be a bit easier.

Happy writing, fellow NaNo-ers!

I wrote this post on Wednesday while I had power just in case I wasn’t going to be able to get online again so I wasn’t able to do my own check-in.

I’m at my writing desk right now. I have tea, I ate my piece of chocolate, I bought a heater to keep from freezing myself out of my office, I lit a scented candle. It’s all very indulgent and romantic-writerly. Which has nothing to do with my word count, I’m just so pleased to actually have the whole ‘room of my own’ this year.

I did 1741 yesterday. I forgot how hard it can be the first couple of days to buckle down and hit the goal. I really felt like I was clawing it out of myself. I had to keep doing the ‘ok, just get to 800. Ok, now just get to a 1000. Ok, just a little bit farther’ pep talks.

As soon as I hit publish it’s back to the writing for me. I want to hit today’s goal and then build up a cushion over the weekend because I’m a notorious slacker. I’m sure I’ll be taking the occasional day off over the course of the month.

5235 baby! Look at me running victory laps around my table because it feels soooo good.

Now to pray that I can keep this feeling. I have been pretty much ignoring my word count thingy in the bottom corner, haven’t stared at the document at all and pleasantly lingered on the Internet. Big difference: I want to write this story. I’m enjoying developing the characters and telling myself to brake: to not give in to the need to tell everything in two pages.
Until now it feels like one big Eureka moment. Let’s see how long it lasts.


Thank you for reminding me to write shit today.

I have still decided to not hold myself to the 1,667 a day thing because it’s still more important that I try to write as much as I can every day. The most important part of this exercise to me right now is 1) feeling good about being able to accomplish things again, and 2) overcoming the Inner Critic.

So, I guess, in a way, my NaNoWriMo goals are also mental health goals.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit I started the minute the clock hit midnight. I’m about 900 shy of today’s goal, but it shouldn’t be a problem since I’ll be up pretty late tonight.

The only problem so far is the one I expected – trying to not edit as I go. It’s not as bad as I expected though, so yay me.

And while I’m here, I’m not sure how much site-buddy stuff I’ll manage (if any, I have no clue how that even works tbh), but I’m BluntlyBlue if anyone wants to add.

Leave a Reply