Community – Keys to NaNoWriMo

My NaNo's progress!

My NaNo’s progress!

We are over halfway there, fellow NaNoers, but this late in the month, the writing is getting tough. It’s easy to let the excitement carry you through the beginning, but it gets harder and harder as the grind sets in.

Stay strong.

We’ve talked about some important tools for your NaNo toolbox: Commitment and Embracing the Suck.  This week I want to talk about one more to help you knock NaNo out of the park: the NaNoWriMo community.

If you haven’t already tapped into the community, make that your personal project for the day – once you’re done with your daily 1,667, of course.

Joining the community is as simple as heading over to and creating an account.

On your Dashboard, you can create your novel’s page. This is where you enter the novel on November 30th to become a NaNoWriMo “winner.” This is also where you enter your daily word count to update your novel’s statistics page.

My novel's stats as of 11/18

My novel’s stats as of 11/18

If you take a look to the left, you can see my NaNo’s stats.  The statistics page is complete with several useful calculations. The key ones include daily updates on how much you have left to write and how many words per day to to finish on time.

You can also link up with writing buddies or plug into your regional NaNoWriMo group. The regional groups in particular might be helpful. Many groups schedule parties or other events such as “Write-Ins” to help everyone stay motivated. These write-ins may be at an actual location in your hometown, or they may be conducted virtually.

My personal favorite is the forum. It is the best way to get in touch with other passionate NaNo-ists. You can vent your frustrations about your stupid main character who isn’t turning out at all the way you wanted, about the plot that fell to pieces right before your eyes, about how much you want to throw your computer when you sit down to write, or about the villain who is… well… not villainous enough.

Or you can talk about your successes, how much you’re enjoying the writing, how birds sing whenever you sit down to write, compelled by the overwhelming beauty of your work (I hate you).

As we move to the end of the month, the most important feature of the forum might be the Plot Doctoring and Writing 101 subforums.  This late in the process, many NaNoers are finding that their outlines and plans only carried them through the first ~30,000 words.  Yes.  This can induce panic.

If you’re worried that you’re running out of plot, or if you’re having serious problems with the narrative structure of your story, don’t stop writing!  Head over to the forums and get some advice from experienced NaNoers.  I’ve seen some good plot and character construction tips help writers find their way over the hump.

Either way, plugging into the community can only serve to help you stay motivated and find some of the world’s likeminded NaNoers.

You can find my forum profile here.  Add me as a NaNo buddy!

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