NaNoWriMo: Are you taking the writing challenge?


Writers the world over are hard at work today having taken the challenge presented by National Novel Writing Month. The annual event held in November gives writers the friendly nudge they need to finally put pen to paper and push out a 50,ooo-word novel.


(Flickr: Alden Chadwick)

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I took up that challenge last year and, while I have to admit that I didn’t meet the one-month deadline, I am proud to say that I am still writing. At 32,000 words, I feel on track to finally finish my “masterpiece.”

Read: Sharpen your skills, get ready to write in November

I have loved writing this story. It speaks to me. For the first time, I am writing without an outline, or a character study. Instead, I am allowing the characters to guide me and it’s working so far.

National Novel Writing Month

However, like so many writers who must balance work and family with writing, I often find myself sidetracked by life. Work obligations and batting cages with my son and Halloween festivities have derailed me of late.

So, I am working on finding my way back.

I do this in any number of ways — television is silenced, laundry sits. Sometimes I head to the library or my favorite coffee house for a change of scenery. I let phone calls carry over to voice mail. And I pick up a book and read.

Most importantly, I remind myself that life and all its ups and downs serve as a vital cog in my writing ritual. Without living, there is little to inspire me. Without living, my writing lacks authenticity. Without leaving my writing for a short while, I never have the chance to experience the feeling of returning to it, refreshed and ready.

And I try not to be so hard on myself.

What are you doing today to drag yourself back to your own masterpiece? Are you a NaNoWriMo writer? What are your own goals and aspirations for writing? And what’s keeping you from those goals?

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at


Kerri S. Mabee

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