Show Notes

Episode 72: NaNoWriMo Preview

November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. In this month-long challenge, participants commit to writing a 50,000-word novel in a month. Shannon and Janine have participated in the past and in Episode 62 we decided to take it on agin this year. (Janine has done this every five years since 2004, so this is her fourth NaNoWriMo novel.) In this episode, we talk about our past NaNoWriMo challenges, how its lessons can apply to all sorts of things (like getting past perfectionistic tendencies) and encourage listeners to join us in writing a novel this November!

Discussion topics include:

  • How Shannon is easing herself back into running after her ankle injury
  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): please join us!
  • How participating in NaNoWriMo can help you let go of perfectionism
  • Our NaNoWriMo origin story
  • Our absolute lack of ideas around what we’ll be writing about next month
  • Lessons from NaNoWriMo prep that can be applied to other projects
  • Famous novels that started out as a NaNoWriMo project (like Fangirl and Water for Elephants)
  • Janine’s husband Barry’s confusion about why she would want to do NaNoWriMo
  • Shannon’s husband Mike’s confusion about the same thing. (They’re confused in different ways.)
  • Alternative 30-day challenges
  • Opportunities to share the fun with Shannon and Janine


If you’re up for a challenge but writing a novel doesn’t strike your fancy, there are plenty of other challenges to look into. If you decide to do any of these in November, feel free to join us in the GTGE Facebook group and we’ll support you! Just make a comment in the group post about challenges, or make your own post.

Here are just a few of the November challenges you might take on as an alternative to NaNoWriMo. Or you might find one on your own! (If you do, please tell us about it in the comments.)

5 thoughts on “Episode 72: NaNoWriMo Preview”

  1. I’m in! I decided earlier this year (before I even knew y’all existed) that I was going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I just received the No Plot? No Problem! book by Chris Baty in the mail (love that Amazon Prime next-day delivery) and look forward to skimming it tonight so that I can begin reading it tomorrow and putting some of its tips and guidelines into play. My local library system, Mid Continent Public Library, has a branch devoted to writers at its Woodneath Story Center. They are hosting several write-in’s during the month as are some other branches. I have already reserved my spot for those. I have cleared the decks and have a housekeeper coming the last week of October so that I hopefully won’t live in squalor in November when I’m focused on getting the word count. Matter of fact, I should schedule a housecleaning session the first week of December while I’m thinking of it. Do you think there is someone we can hire to come spoon-feed us while we type?

    1. Fantastic, Christy! I bet you’ll enjoy the write-ins. I think Shannon is going to do some of that as well. My plan (this is Janine) is to write so early in the morning that a write-in wouldn’t be feasible. I think it’s great that you’re even scheduling housecleaners to accommodate NaNoWriMo. I look forward to interacting in the GTGE FB group during NaNoWriMo!

      1. It turns out that I won’t be able to put my focus on NaNoWriMo after all. My dog has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I just want to spend as much time with her as I can in the time she has left. God, I love her so much; this is killing me. I will try to do NaNoWriMo from home as much as I can with her by my side, but I am not expecting 50,000 words.

        1. Oh, Christy, we’re both so sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis! Hold your dog close and enjoy her. The hardest part of inviting pets into our lives is losing them, isn’t it. Certainly NaNoWriMo pales in comparison to being with your dog. We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts.

          1. They break your heart after filling it with so much unconditional love. Thank you for your kind thoughts, Janine and Shannon. Best of luck to you both with NaNoWriMo!

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