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Just shut up and write already! – National Novel Writing Month

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By reading this site, you likely are always looking for awesome ways to live your life, so you have a story that needs to be told. But maybe you never imagined writing a book, or never thought you could. Listen, if Snooki can “write” a book, so can you. It just takes dedication, focus, and someone pushing you to write 50,000 words in one month.

That’s the goal of National Novel Writing Month– inspiring writers everywhere to stop agonizing, procrastinating, and just write during the month of November. Sure, a perfect, polished novel can’t be written in a month, but at the very least, participants will have a start of a novel or a first draft. NaNoWriMo, as its more affectionately known, began amongst a writing group of 20 in 1991. Last year, 200,00 people participated.

I’ll venture to say there more aspiring authors in San Fran and New York than there are aspiring actors in Hollywood. NaNoWriMo is a way for the aspiring authors to encourage each other and meet at write-ins. The message board is choc full of write-ins all over the country. Socializing isn’t necessary- just people writing furiously. It will be like a really quiet flash mob.

I’ve sworn to do it every year, and this year I am committed to it. You can even hold me responsible for it. I’ve even got a great story… Okay, you twisted my arm, I’ll tell you. My idea is about a teenage girl who has been raised in a doomsday cult for most of her life, and one day she learns that her estranged father has been searching for her. Pretty fun, right? Hopefully it will be the next Twilight. I’ve also been motivating myself with the following facts:

  • Chuck Palahnuik, my writing idol, didn’t publish his first novel until he was 35. And it’s a little thing you might of heard of, called Fight Club.
  • Sarah Gruen wrote the bestseller, Water for Elephants, during NaNoWriMo.
  •  John Kennedy Toole wrote A Confederacy of Dunces and it wasn’t even found until after he was dead, and it by far one of the best books ever written (fact). Nevermind he committed suicide, the point is, you only need one masterpiece.
  • Jack Kerouac’s On The Road received lackluster reviews when it was first released.

The present is ripe with things to inspire novels: the Occupy protests, natural disasters, the rise of social media, international relations, politics- someone needs to capture the zeitgesit, and it need not be just Stephenie Meyer or Aaron Sorkin. 50,000 words in a month- that’s about a page of writing a day. You probably write more in text messages than that already.

You can follow my progress here, or add me as a writing buddy. See you on the bestseller list!

National Novel Writing Month
FREE, November 1-30, 2011


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Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur

Robin was raised in the shopping malls of suburban Long Island, New York. As a teenager, her life goals were to become a writer and marry Bret Michaels. After attending college at the University of Delaware (yes, in the state of Delaware) and earning a graduate degree educationl at NYU, she's achieved only one of those goals. Along with writing, Robin enjoys performing improv comedy, internet memes, cross-stitch, and showing off her alarmingly extensive knowledge of obscure pop culture trivia. Currently, Robin resides in Oakland, CA and is writing a book about the 1980s teen book series, Sweet Valley High.


  1. November 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Go for it, Robin! This is my fourth year at it. My 2009 project, Write-A-Thon, was published this fall by Writer’s Digest Books–and it is designed to help NaNoers start strong and finish standing! This year, I will be working on a series of chapter books for kids AND blogging at my site. Love your idea!

  2. November 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Good luck with nano! I did it the last two years (only made it to 12k in 09, but managed 56 last year) but am unable to do it this year because I stupidly went and had a baby. He’s sucking up my time! But I’m being a gret big nano cheerleader, so when you post wordcounts on Twitter, I will repond with lots of enthusiastic encouragement. Go Robin!

  3. Robin Hardwick - Cost-Conscious Connoisseur
    November 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks, I will check that out!

  4. August 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

    […] not participate in Script Frenzy? Similar to National Novel Writing Month, which we told you about, Script Frenzy is not about competition, getting published, or even being good. It’s just about […]