Should I Stay Up for NaNoWriMo?

I just self-published by first book, Never Coming Back, on and the timing couldn’t be better. I wrote most of it during NaNoWriMo 2010 (National Novel Writing Month). The main idea is to write 50,000 words during the month of November, which amounts to about 1,667 words or so per day.

Yes, I am aware that you can write every day, every month. All of us who sign up for NaNoWriMo are aware of that little fact. Somehow, this is different.  Knowing that so many other authors are making a commitment to write every day is motivating to us.

No, I didn’t hit the 50,000 word mark in 2010, though my first book is over 65,000 words.  So, what happened?  Well, after writing every day for an entire month, I had to get my friends and family back.  And proofread. And edit.  And write some more.

NaNoWriMo 2011 saw me working on the sequel to Never Coming Back. I didn’t finish it then, because at the time I was too disappointed by yet another rejection slip from a publisher. I determined that the original version of Never Coming Back was too short, and knew I needed to add more. I even considered combining the two, and started to do just that, but decided against it. I went back to the drawing board and added more to the original.

I am so glad I did. Adding more description and more thoughts from the main character really rounded it out nicely. Now I am proud enough to self-publish on Amazon. I am so glad I did! I don’t know what kind of sales I will get, but I am now a published author. Every time someone buys my book, I will make a couple of bucks. Not enough to quit my day job, but enough to give me motivation to keep working on the second, and then the third, and so on…

As long as someone likes what I am writing, I will keep doing it.  And that is what NaNoWriMo is all about for me.  This year, I will finish my sequel, and next year I will work on the third, or maybe even the fourth in the series.  Self-publishing my book is great motivation, as is NaNoWriMo, and I hope to ride that sail right through November.


18 thoughts on “Should I Stay Up for NaNoWriMo?

  1. Kim

    Anything that can motivate you to write is a good thing! Congratulations on publishing your first book and hoping for many more to come…

  2. JC Emery

    Hi Sara,

    I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo since 2010, but haven’t seen much luck with it. I clocked 18k in 2010 and 4k in 2011. I’m in a MUCH better place with my novel now and I’m 25k in. I plan on continuing it so I can finally get it finished. I think every little bit helps and there’s something exciting about starting at midnight. I say, do it!

    Now I’m off to look for you on the NaNoWriMo site and get ready for the midnight meet-up!


  3. orestgtd

    I didn’t stay up intentionally to write, but it was after midnight which means it was November and I thought, what the heck, let’s get this thing started. Only got as far as 1,032 words and that’s as far as I’m going tonight, and I don’t like anything I’ve written. But I still have about 22 hours to get another 635 words out.

  4. pam

    and….how did it go?
    Did you stay up and get a start?

    I didn’t pop on here until Thursday morning – but want to send encouragement to you as we set out on the fabulous journey of nano!

    It’s my second time round.
    I’m using nano as a way to work on a BwaB (book within a book) for a novel I’m working on.
    Felt like I needed to actually CREATE the BwaB – and jumping on it as a nano project just feels like the thing to do.

    Looking forward to travelliing the road with you.

    go easy -p

    1. sarasjansen Post author

      Thank you, Pam! I did stay up, but alas, I worked on other things. I self-published my first novel on yesterday (which I mostly wrote during NaNoWriMo 2010), and all the admin tasks kept me from starting NaNo. I will tonight, for sure! I’m hoping to get some done during the day as well. I wrote a “beginning of a book” within my first book. I look forward to working on that, but it won’t be for this NaNo. I’m working on the sequel to the book I published yesterday. Best of luck to you!

      1. pam

        Congrats on getting your novel up on Amazon.
        I somehow missed that you were dealing with all that YESTERDAY – doh!
        I’ll pop over and check it out.

        I’ve never self-published.
        At least… not yet 😉

        Have a great nano – good luck with the sequel to NCB!

      2. sarasjansen Post author

        Pam, thank you so much! Besides the social networking aspect, it actually was easy to self-publish with Amazon, and it was free! They give you good guidelines for how to format your document. You upload it in html format with an image to which you have rights for the cover, and voila! You have a book to sell. The most difficult part, of course, is writing something people will want to buy. 🙂

      3. pam

        I hear that!

        My first novel, Mostly Happy, was published in 2008 – by Thistledown Press.

        It has taken me a good long while to settle down to work on another. Ahh life – how it does distract us…

        Great to see you hopping right in to work on your next book.

      4. sarasjansen Post author

        Actually, I worked on it some last year during NaNoWriMo. I thought I needed to make my first longer, so I was going to try to combine the two plots. Then I decided it wasn’t necessary and tabled the second plot. I can’t wait to get back to it!

        I have never heard of Thistledown Press.


        I went onto their site and found your book. It sounds great! It is also on… Will it be released for the Kindle? I requested it on Amazon’s page. And I noticed you don’t have an Author Page on Amazon. You might want to think about doing that…

      5. sarasjansen Post author

        I wasn’t sure if you got my update, as you were writing at the same time…


        I went onto their site and found your book. It sounds great! It is also on… Will it be released for the Kindle? I requested it on Amazon’s page. And I noticed you don’t have an Author Page on Amazon. You might want to think about doing that…

      6. pam

        Nothing in the works right now to get MH out as an e-book.

        I don’t even own an e-reader yet – GULP! How behind the times am I, eh?

        You’re right about setting up an Amazon Author page.

        So many things to do – aren’t there?

        I started some things and then … stopped…dropped off the promo world for a long while – NET wise. Just got … overwhelmed I think. You’re right – we need a publicists to help us with all this stuff!!

        OK – that said…I HAVE to get off line and get some writing done. Have a great day.

        go easy -p

  5. Pingback: It is the day I start writing « All Paranormal Writing

  6. Pingback: Social Networking Thwarts NaNoWriMo Efforts | Sara S. Jansen

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