Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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November 28, 2018

NaNoSlackMo: What To Do When November Gets Crazy

We're officially in the holiday season, a time that sends many writers into a tizzy of stress and deadlines and too many sweets. Many of my friends are past the NaNo-Mania and looking forward to their holidays, but I'm on the fence.

You see, I missed a lot of the November Frenzy that I love.

Along with the usual crap that sucks up a writer's time: Work. . .Family. . .Holidays. . .Traveling. . .this year I also turned 50 (*OMG*) and had a car accident in the same 24 hour period.

Yes, I'm mostly fine, but my car is totaled. And now I'm buried in paperwork and phone calls and chiropractor visits. Plus, I have to look for a new car I had no plans to buy. *whining*

But I'm no quitter. 

Do you remember my pep talk from the Bikini Wax Theory of Writing?

We're writers. Writers persevere. Even if it's only one page at a time--hell, one sentence at a time--we keep going. We are mighty beings formed of stubbornness, creativity and caffeine.

Don't let a crazy November steal your Writing Mojo!

Join me in observing National Novelist Slack-Ass Month in December, lovingly dubbed NaNoSlackMo.  There's no rule that says all the words must happen in November. 

Perhaps we need a #NaNoSlackMo hashtag, to really help people get in the mood. Who's with me??? 

Who else still needs their community? Their writing sprints? Their progress reports? I've heard worried rumbles amongst my peeps about living without the cool tools available at www.nanowrimo.org.

The short answer is: you don't have to!

Did you know that you can use cool tools from NaNo all year long? 

Other good tools for word count tracking:

  • This site lists 6 app-based options. I like Loop-Habit Tracker because (a) the cool name, (b) it's on my Android and (c) it exports to a spreadsheet file if I want it too. Oh, and there are settings that have your phone nag remind you to write. HabitBull is another one I have my eye on.
  • Scrivener also has great tools to track those word goals. Scrivener's word count targets can easily be set. Here's a video.
  • Also, Gwen Hernandez did a post here at WITS that shows how to export your writing history. Holy cowbell, people, that is awesome stuff!
  • Finally, if you've never explored Jamie Raintree's Writing and Revision Tracker, now might be the time. It's a groovy Excel tool for tracking up to 10 projects! She's working on the 2019 version right now. Woo!

During December, in addition to my holiday baking, I’ll be working to complete the 25,000 words I missed in November. While I loved seeing my pals crossing the NaNo finish line, I still want to see more progress for myself.

If you missed out on your November words, or you just want to keep riding the glorious NaNo train (but at a slower holiday pace), you are welcome to join me. I’m all fired up about it…how about you? 

Now, who will be joining me for word sprints during NaNoSlackMo?? We can track progress and engage in shenanigans at #NaNoSlackMo on social media. Jokes, cat videos and pictures of crazy undergarments are always welcome.

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About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or here at Writers In The Storm.

34 comments on “NaNoSlackMo: What To Do When November Gets Crazy”

  1. Hope you get a great new car! I'm not sure about word sprints but this year's NaNo has reminded me how important it is to write everyday so I like the idea of #NaNoSlackMo. I'm in.

    1. Wahoooooo! The more the merrier. And you never have to group sprint if you don't want to. I do think it's nice to keep track of progress though, so try out those tracking tools if you haven't already. 🙂

    1. Hahahahaha! You sound like my husband. He and my girlie adore their sweets. I've noticed that too many make me both groggy AND fluffy...never a good combination. 🙂 Happiest of holidays to you, John!

  2. I'm right there with you! I logged some words on an edit, but on the book I'd planned to write...I got like 10k. Nowhere near my goal! Thanks for the inspirational kick in the posterior region. I will be ready!

  3. Your MOM'S car?!!! Insult to injury. Hugs, Jen

    My life has been crazy busy since September, and looking forward to 11 in the house for Christmas :/

    I'm just Thankful my latest deadline got moved out - I haven't looked at that book in so long, I don't remember what it's about!

  4. I know the feeling, Jenny. A deer tried to do the 100 yard dash in front of my SUV in January 2017. She didn't make it. She ran into the right front quarter panel and did a somersault over the roof of my vehicle and scampered away but not before doing over $4,500 worth of damage to it. I performed evasive maneuvers by lowering my head because I was sure her legs were going to come through the moon roof but they didn't. Rest yourself. You deserve it.

    1. OMG, I'd have been scared to death, Pamela. That's craziness! I'm glad everyone was okay, in both our cases. A bit of chiropractic care is only for the good, right?

      1. Nothing against them but I don't care for chiropractors. And since I'm going to be undergoing shoulder surgery soon, I doubt I'll ever want one manipulating me, lol.

  5. Oh man! A car wreck within 24 hours of your 50th birthday? What is that?? So sorry and hope there are no lasting injuries. On the bright side--when a guy ran me off the road back in 2005 and totaled my car, my insurance benefits were good enough that I got a beautiful Monte Carlo I still own today. I hope you have the same luck!

    1. Oooooh, that is a gratifying thought! Thank you...I appreciate that light at the end of the tunnel. I am positive I'll get through to the other side of this, but it is incredibly inconvenient. But, on the up side, I walked away from the accident. That's all anyone can ask for!

  6. Totally with you, Jenny. I didn't even attempt the November marathon. When these two words -- "hospice" and "death" -- entered my family's world uninvited, everything got wobbly. Not a stupendous time to be creative or incredibly productive. However, since my WIP is my father-in-law's memoir/biography, the goodbye-and-grieving times were made a little easier by spending so much time with him and his stories. I'm giving myself December off for the most part. Family time and holiday hoopla are in order. But come January, watch out!!!!

    1. I am perfectly willing to keep NaNoSlackMo going into the new year, especially if I can sprint with you! And I think it's really beautiful that you are getting to be with your father in law through your book. It will show in the finished work, and it is such a comfort to your wife. 🙂

    2. So sorry for your loss, Chris! It's wonderful that you're writing his memoirs. And, Jenny, my gosh! Both of you give yourselves the time you need. May the coming holidays bring you cheer!

  7. I'm with everyone in hoping December will be a better month for writing than November with all its turmoil.

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