• Micki Bare

The decision to NaNoWriMo in 2020

For three straight years, I won NaNoWriMo, which is to say I wrote at least 50,000 words between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 (National Novel Writing Month) and submitted those words for verification so I could download a certificate. For three straight years, I began December with first drafts of novels in the women's fiction genre.

Then, I realized I was writing in the wrong genre. Considering my three published books are early reader children's books, and considering my background in early education, women's fiction wasn't quite jiving with my muse. Rather, my muse was pacing back and forth, flailing her arms, and spitting on the ground trying to get my attention.


When I finally caved to her antics, she pushed me to work on middle grade fiction. And she suggested it would do me good to be more actively engaged with SCBWI-Carolinas. As a result, in 2018, I took a break from NaNoWriMo and instead worked on exploring the story my muse kept shoving in my face.


In 2019, I was polishing the middle grade manuscript. I was editing and revising. And I began querying. During 2020, I've bounced back and forth between the edits/revisions/querying dance with book 1 and writing book 2. My middle grade novel is the first in a series according to my muse.


So now, with another manuscript revision under my belt for book 1, my muse is urging me to shovel piles of steaming words into book 2 and complete a draft. Since it's NaNoWriMo time, I decided to participate. And here's why:

  • NaNoWriMo will help me stay focused on completing draft 1 of book 2.

  • NaNoWriMo will offer a distraction from the queries that are lingering in the vast depths of consideration land in the distant realm of publishing.

  • NaNoWriMo will also give me a way to network with my growing circle of writing buddies.

  • NaNoWriMo's 2020 mug is really cool. I ordered one.

Since it will be getting darker much earlier beginning Nov. 1, it'll be nice to spend quiet time in the shadows throwing up creativity onto page after page as I position myself to start 2021 with a new book to revise and edit. And eventually query.

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