Techie Tuesday and Some Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

Techie Tuesday is happening at a different time and place this week: it’s today over at Writers In The Storm. We’re running Part 2 of our series on Writerly Uses for Microsoft Excel. I hope you’ll pop over there and leave me a question!

ROW80LogocopyIn the meantime, I thought I’d do a quick ROW80 update to talk about NaNoWriMo. My initial goal was twenty-five thousand words.

I didn’t win, nor did I expect to with a whopping case of shingles on board, but the final stats were: 101 pages and 20492 words.

I never win NaNo, so I’m not bummed about that. But I was bummed that I missed my 25K goal by 4500 words until I talked to Natalie Hartford yesterday. When I told her I was chafing over it, she said:

Oh, so 100 pages wasn’t enough with shingles, work, a baby and writing? You slacker! 20,000 words is alot with all that happening. I think that’s fabulous.

And I stopped to think about it…and decided she was right. Go me! I might still be waking up daily with a shingles headache, but I’ve got 101 pages under my belt and more coming all the time. 🙂

NaNoWriMo, in my humble opinion, isn’t about the 50K. It’s about:

  • Write-ins and community
  • Parties and snacks
  • Pep talks from the NaNo Team
  • Writing Buddies
  • And the sheer joy of literary abandon for a month

101 pages a month would finish 3-4 books a year.  I’ve got to be sure I remember that and keep it going. Immersing myself in a community like ROW80 usually pumps up the motivation. Click here to encourage the rest of Team ROW!

If you did NaNoWriMo, what were your take-aways? What about all of you that struggle to get the words on the page…how are things going for you now that the holidays are here? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!


Speaking of holidays… the effervescent Natalie is on deck today in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop with French Lace Cookies (that name makes me want to whip out a bottle of wine and some cheese to go with them). Click here to see these gorgeous treats!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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19 Responses to Techie Tuesday and Some Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

  1. K.B. Owen says:

    Jenny, Natalie is absolutely right, and I’m glad you finally let that sink in! 101 pages is huge! You’re just going to grab that momentum and keep running with it. Good for you!


  2. S. J. Maylee says:

    A well deserved positive attitude, I love it. Congratulations! Boo on the shingles headaches, grrr.
    More excel and at one of my favorite places, score. 😀


  3. Amber West says:

    Jenny, Natalie is totally right – that’s a fantastic output, particularly with everything you have going on! I wrote about this same thing last week. A lot of NaNoers who don’t hit their goal (be it the 50k or something different) get discouraged, especially seeing those that did hit their goals. But the fact of the matter is, you wrote. And that’s something to be proud of!

    Sorry about the daily headaches – I’ve been thinking about you!


  4. Julie Glover says:

    I did the sneaky version of NaNoWriMo, signing up without telling anymore about halfway through. Like you, I had no expectations of “winning,” except in the sense that winning for me would be getting substantially into another novel. Thanksgiving week messed with my mojo, but I still managed 15k for the month. I’d say your 20k with everything you’ve had going is AWESOME. Bask in your own sunshine, girl!


  5. Gene Lempp says:

    Big smiles for Natalie – she is Right on Target! Pulling off the word count you did with ALL that you have going on (and I know there is more than meets the eye) is amazing. I’d also point out that it is more than some “writers” do in a year with less on their plates. Jen, dear, you rocked it 🙂
    By the way, while I’m not as net visible as I once was, YOU can tweet/email me anytime you want for motivation or hell, just to talk for a few. Total respect for all that you do, my friend.
    Peace, always 😀


  6. Everyone else has already said “Natalie is right!” Kudos! So, what’s left for me to say?

    “!thgir si eilataN.”

    Print this. Hold it in the mirror when you look at yourself with a richly deserved gold star on your forehead.

    You are so right about community. For me, it’s both the camaraderie and accountability. Believe it or not, Ripley, I can be a bit of a whack-a-doodle in the intentions-meet-accomplishments arena.


  7. Lara says:

    Jenny, Natalie is spot-on! I think you were marvelously successful with everything you had to contend with. My cheering is all for you today! You go, girl!

    And, because of your mention of Scrivener – and this is all due to you, btw – I was able to win Nano. As soon as I finish this post, I’m going to the Nano winner’s page, get the code to purchase Scrivener at half price and continue my outrageously amped-up production.

    I never would have thought that a specific piece of software could make such a difference. Thanks so much, Jen!!


  8. Diana Beebe says:

    Your 20K is awesome! I love what Natalie said to you–you’re such a slacker. *rolls eyes* Hardly. 🙂

    To answer your question: I really struggled to get words on the page in November. I kept falling into bottomless pit plot holes. This last bit of a WIP always kills me. I’m not worried though, because I love these kids in my story. Who knew I’d love middle grade writing so much (since I pretty much hated middle school)? Have a great day!


  9. Cory Imhof says:

    Congratulations sista’!!! 101 pages is awesome. Keep it up. The shingles will pass you will have more energy and focus to bust out 50K!


  10. Isn’t it just like us women to look at what we didn’t do, instead of what we did? You rocked it! Sending lots of pats on the back!


  11. OMG…I am totally printing this comment section, highlighling all the “Natalie is RIGHT” and pinning it on my fridge for hubby to see and witness my RIGHTNESS! ROFL!!

    I am right damn it…at least about this. 20,000 words BLEW MY FREAKING SOCKS off…even if you had been 100% that would have still rocked my world but then with everything else you had going on..SHUT THE FRONT DOOR…you are freaking amazing lady!!! Gorgeous, fabulous and a kick-ass writer!! BAM!!

    Keep up the great work. Focus on the wins and build your momentum from that. Cause you are lighting the page on fire my friend…HOT HOT HOT!!!!!!!!!!


    • K.B. Owen says:

      Natalie, you should – post multiple copies! Love your post today, btw! To add to Jenny’s comment at the end of THIS post, I picture a little French maid with a frilly apron passing around a dainty tray…or maybe you can dress up for Scott. LOL! 😀


  12. Shingles, headaches, work and a baby? I think you DID win, Jenny. Maybe not according to NaNo guidelines, but you won. 🙂

    What did I take away from my first NaNoWriMo experience? Mostly that I’m an idiot (or is it I-D-10-T?). Next time I’ll just work on one project, save what little sanity I have left, and remember there are only 24 hours in a day.


  13. WTG Jenny!! You’ve done an excellent job with A LOT more to deal with than A LOT of people. You’re rockin’ it!!!


  14. Patricia says:

    I’ve never participated in NaNo so I really don’t know what it’s like, but when someone has a full time job, like being a mother to a baby, I don’t see how this craziness can happen. I work full-time with a 1 hour commute 1-way, a house to keep clean, meals to fix, laundry to do and fitness classes to attend. I wouldn’t even attempt it. Being a mom is more demanding than that.

    The very fact that you finished (like a marathon) is outstanding! it’s not how fast you work, but that you work, or in this case write. Period.


    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  15. Shah Wharton says:

    I did it and ‘won’ again this year, but as you say, is the word count the be all and end all? Is it the best reason for taking part? Nah… the reasons you listed are more important, so go you indeed. And get well soon – shingles – ouch. X


  16. I hit right around 22K, and I’m pretty happy with it. I work during November, and with all the Turkey day hoopla and family stuff that went on this month, I think it went pretty well. Especially when I think about the ZERO words I wrote last November. I think we all win just by striving a little more. YAY US!


  17. J Holmes says:

    Hi Jenny.Maybe Piper could read this article when she’s not busy writing all of our prose for us. I certainly want her to pick up any useful information that will allow her to do even more work for me in the future. Thanks for the tips.


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