6 Secrets To Winning NaNoWriMo Early

For most people, dedicating a whole month to writing 50,000 words can sound a bit shocking, and that number alone can scare a lot of newcomers out of even trying NaNoWriMo. But for the insane percentage of people who do participate in it every year, we know that 50,000 words is not that daunting once you break it down into daily goals of 1667. I know that I personally have a few people on my buddy list who stretch for 200,000 words in the month of November, which is way too intense for me, but all the power to them. It’s all just a matter of setting your daily goals a little higher than the suggested word count.

But sometimes the word count isn’t the scary part. Sometimes, it’s the time that people have to set aside to work on NaNoWriMo on a daily basis. It’s not always possible for people to work on their project for 30 days straight, and this is where finishing your 50k early comes to be most handy.

Today we are going to be talking about how I beat the clock and win NaNoWriMo early every year. Here are some of my secrets to getting ahead and staying above the suggested daily goals:

  1. I personally write an average of 2200-3000 words a day on days that I am working, and 5000 words on days that I am not working. I tend to split up my writing sessions into 3 separate times (early morning before work, before dinner, and before bed). This helps me split up the times and helps me gather my thoughts before binge writing.
  2. I try to do at least one write-a-thon a week. Sometimes I don’t even set big goals for them, but I don’t separate the sessions. If you want to learn more about my tips for write-a-thons, check out my post about them!
  3. Sprints are my absolute best friend during writing sessions. I am generally a focused writer and don’t have a procrastination issue, but I do get easily distracted by the Internet, by my kitten and by all kinds of chores and things I could be doing instead of writing. So I set up a schedule for my sprints. I will write down what sprint times I want to do, and then I will also schedule my break times and what tasks I want to do during the break times. Whether those tasks are switching my laundry over, or sweeping the apartment, or anything that helps me feel more productive, they really help me justify sitting down to write for longer periods of time.
  4. I scout out fast writers in the forums and add them as buddies on the NaNoWriMo website. I often find myself racing a lot of them or trying to keep up with them. I am very competitive by nature, so it’s really easy for me to get motivated when I see people 4000 words ahead of me. I keep a tab of my writing buddies page open at all times.
  5. If you don’t think setting a word count goal for yourself will motivate you, try using the daily-suggested word counts on the NaNo Stats page. Usually, if I can’t get motivated to write a bunch of words, I tell myself that I am going to write ahead two days and set my goal for the one on the website accordingly. For example, if it’s Day 5, I will tell myself to write ahead to get to Day 7 on that day instead. Even if you only write ahead one day, you are still a step ahead.
  6. When you get ahead, don’t stop writing. Even when I am 10,000 words ahead of the suggested goal I make sure I am writing at least the recommended number of words per day, because as soon as you stop writing you will start losing momentum and you will start losing progress. One day will turn into 2 days and that could and has easily turned into a week of no writing. The goal is to win early to give yourself free time at the end of the month. Obviously if you have plans on a day that you would normally be writing, don’t hesitate to take a day off if you have to, but do make sure that your reason is never lack of motivation.

I really hope that all these tips have given you some ideas on amping up your writing sessions and have given you some insight into the processes of those people who have already won. The biggest thing to remember is that while NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a challenge, it’s also supposed to be a fun experience full of writing habit-building as well as a way to meet other writers locally and around the world. Don’t rush through NaNo just to “get it over with.” With all that extra time, you could set a higher goal, you could start editing and take up some of the sponsors on their winner offers, or you could just spend the rest of the month cheering on your fellow Wrimos!

If you have any tips or tricks for getting ahead and winning NaNoWriMo early, please feel free to leave those in the comments below. I would love to hear them and maybe try a few out!

Mazie Bishop is a fiery 23 yeaMazie-Bishopr-old writer and journalism graduate from Canada. She is self-published and also has several poems and short fiction pieces published in various anthologies and magazines. Currently, she is in the process of writing her second novel, and is in the outlining stages of a quarter-life memoir. You can read about her little crafty adventures, read her work, and gander at her photos on www.theselittlepieces.com.

The Power of Write-A-Thons

For NaNoWriMo participants, the word “write-a-thon” tends to mean a few different things. It can either mean that you plan to plot out a bunch of chapters, set a daily goal and write your heart out until you hit that goal, or join an insane write-in event where you are surrounded by people who all plan to write a certain amount of words in a set period of time and will stop at nothing to get there. These options can all come with varying stress levels, but the common denominator is that you are setting a goal and not stopping until you write your way there.

Write-a-thons can be an amazing tool for people who find themselves procrastinating or falling behind in word count or who are just more goal driven. I personally do write-a-thons on a weekly basis during NaNo, and this year I plan on doing at least two 10,000 word days.

There are a few important things to plan before you sit yourself down for a day of intense writing, so here are my fool-proof tips to surviving a write-a-thon:

  1. Schedule your sprints and breaks. Do the math ahead of time and calculate your average word count within a set time. Then figure out how many sprints of that length you will need to do to get to your goal.
  2. With that information, you are going to want to set aside some time just for your write-a-thon and make sure that you won’t have any long-term interruptions. It is really easy to lose momentum when you are writing for a long period of time.
  3. If you need to be held accountable for your word count, pick a writing buddy or tweet your goal. I find that as soon as I put my goal on my social media or tell someone about it, it helps me hold myself accountable and push myself there.
  4. Race a friend! This will be a great motivation if you are a competitive person. (Co-founder note: Check out our past posts on NaNoWagers for inspiration!)
  5. Take 5 to 10 minute breaks in between each sprint. Make sure you are staying hydrated and snacking frequently. Stand up, walk around, and get the blood flowing!
  6. Reward yourself at the end or per sprint. If you are sitting down to write 5000 or 10,000 words you are more than deserving of a reward or two! I find guilt-free video game time or Netflix time to be a great reward so far this year.

I really hope that these tips help you a bit when getting ready for a write-a-thon and I hope that you consider trying it out. If you are used to writing the suggested daily goal of 1667 words, I would really recommend you try a 3k day or a 5k day—they are so rewarding and really can boost your NaNoWriMo spirit!

If you have any other tips for having a successful write-a-thon, please leave your tips in the comment below, and feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website (username is DaisyforMazie)!


Mazie Bishop is a fiery 23 year-old writer and journalism graduate from
Canada. She is self-published and also has several poems and short fiction pieces published in various anthologies and magazines. Currently, she is in the process of writing her second novel, and is in the outlining stages of a quarter-life memoir. You can read about her little crafty adventures, read her work, and gander at her photos on www.theselittlepieces.com.

Fallen Behind During NaNoWriMo? 5 Tips to Get Back on Track!

Behind During NaNo(1)How has the first week of NaNoWriMo been treating all of you? Are your novels coming to life as you zip through your words? I sure hope so!

But, realistically, a fair amount of us have already fallen behind.


It happens to the best of us. We all start out each November with a few thousand words and the undeniably optimism that this will be the year that we write AT LEAST those 1,667 words (the bare daily minimum to write 50,000 words in 30 days) each day during NaNoWriMo. But, while our muses and creativity are in a frenzied excitement, real life doesn’t slow down.

Maybe you had to work some unexpected extra hours, or maybe you caught a nasty cold. Or maybe you just couldn’t bring yourself to face another bout of writer’s block the other night. Whatever the reason, many of us have already fallen behind where we should be for the NaNo word count and are now playing the desperate game of catch up.

We’re all human and it happens to most WriMo’s. But you can’t beat yourself up about it if you still have your eye on that 50,000 target.

To aid you in your quest to claiming that NaNoWriMo victory this month, here are 5 tips to help you get back on track!

1. Do the Math

Go into your NaNoWriMo dashboard and see how many words you should have, then look at how many words you actually have. What’s the difference? If you’re behind by 1,000 words, just write 500 extra words (on top of the typical 1,667 per day) for two days. Or distribute the difference in smaller amounts over larger days. Whatever seems doable to you. In fact, NaNoWriMo’s site has a section that tells you how many words per day you need to average in order to finish on time. To find this, navigate to the stats page of your current novel and look on the sidebar for “Words Per Day To Finish On Time”. Use this is a guide for how much you need to write in order to catch up.

2. Take advantage of small pockets of time

If you find yourself at a loss for extra writing time, start using those little lulls throughout your day to get those words in. Use part of your lunch hour to write. Or if you find yourself in a waiting room, whip out your notebook or laptop and start writing. Even if you just get 50 words written, those little spurts of writing will add up and boost your word count.

3. Make time

If you can’t seem to find enough time to get your writing done, it may be necessary to go on the offensive and create the time you need. Get up 30 minutes earlier (or whatever is plausible for you) than usual, and use that time to write the extra words you need. Or maybe order in some food one night to save on cooking/clean up time. Start carving out time so you can get back to writing.

4. Set aside a whole day

Let’s say that you’re REALLY far behind. Or maybe you just can’t seem to work productively in short 30 minute spurts. If that’s the case, it may just be time to go all out. That’s right, pick a day in the next week or so and block out a huge chunk of time – if not the whole day. Don’t make any other plans for that time. This is your writing time and you’re going to use it to get back on track with your NaNo word count. It may be a bit drastic, but sometimes you need a whole day to do nothing but write in order to refocus on the goal at hand.

5. Keep writing

No matter what happens, don’t get discouraged! Keep writing and hitting your goals each day. But Don’t get down if you fall behind. You can only catch up and stay on track if you’re both optimistic and defensive of your writing time. So keep at it, hold that 50,000 word goal in your mind, and go for it! You can do this!

A Tiny Guide: Prioritizing Your Writing Time

prioritizing your writing timeSomething’s been bothering me lately about my writing habits and, after a long week of solemn reflection, I came to a realization that I wanted to share with you: it is impossible to do it all.

That’s right. I’m talking to you over-achievers out there. And to those of you that are inundated with responsibilities outside of your writing life.

After switching into a new job a couple months ago, I’ve found that my time for writing has shrunk and my energy and motivation have been steadily declining.

After reaching a point last week where I felt that I could no longer keep up with all my writing commitments, I took a step back and evaluated the situation. What was really going on here? Why couldn’t I prioritize my time correctly and get into a good writing rhythm?

Then it hit me: I was overwhelmed. I’d taken on too much and assumed I could make it all work. And what was more, I had so many writing commitments on my plate that didn’t truly interest me, that I was avoiding them. So, to remedy this issue, I started breaking down my writing commitment and created a guide for myself that I’d like to share with you.

Below is a breakdown of the percent of my writing time that I spend on different kinds of writing (to make sure my time spent writing is manageable, productive, and enjoyable), as well as a list of questions to ask yourself when you need to figure out what you should cut from your writing workload.

Writing Time Spent on Different Projects

I’ve found that most of my writing projects fall into three different categories. I’ve broken down the percent of my writing time that I spend (or would like to spend) on each category every week.

Passion Projects (35%)

Blog Posts/Projects with Deadlines (25%)

Paid writing (40%)

Note: there might be some overlap between these categories – which sometimes makes things easier – or harder – to prioritize.

I’ve found that when I stick to this sort of writing schedule, I’m a happier, more motivated writer.

What Happens When Something Has to Give?

Sometimes there’s just too much. Sometimes, you have to make the tough call and resign from that editor position or give up trying to squeeze an extra blog post in each week. To help you make the decision on what to give up when you need to let something slide, use the below list of questions to determine what is really important to you and what you should let slide.

  • what makes you happy?
  • what allows your writing to grow?
  • what do you look forward to writing?
  • are you under a contract?
  • will you be letting anyone (including yourself) down if you don’t complete this?

The secret to being a great writer is loving your craft, devoting your time, and prioritizing your projects. Don’t let yourself get bogged down with uninspiring work or items that take up your time and leave no room for other projects.

Balance your writing life in order to let it grow.


Do you have any tips for prioritizing your writing time? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Summer Reads to Improve Your Writing

Summer is drawing to a close—don’t shoot the messenger!—but thankfully, there’s still one month left. For those of us who have extra free time during the summer months, whether due to school break or reduced work hours, that’s 4 full weeks to give our writing craft some extra TLC. And if you’re like me and typically salivate after back-to-school notebook sales this time of year, then what better time to stock up on a few marbles or spirals, grab a writer’s guide, and get to work—fall semester style?

Many of us graduate high school or college and take the reins with our own work, but every now and then, it can be helpful to return to some kind of formal instruction. Writing is a hard thing to teach (and learn) in a classroom setting, but one thing I love about writing guides is that, unlike classes, they’re one-on-one experiences can be tackled at your own pace.

So to help you get started, I’ve compiled 5 writing guides here that I think have a lot to teach, plus a bonus podcast class! I have experience with and highly recommend each of these works; for simplicity’s sake, I’ll list them in order of recommended to MUST reads.

  1. The Writer’s Idea Workshop. This was my first foray into fiction writing guides as a teen. It was not long after I had decided I wanted to be A Writer, and upon an impromptu trip to a Barnes & Noble that actually had a section dedicated to writing manuals, I thought I’d give one a try. The Writer’s Idea Workshop caught my eye and, quickly grabbing a rare open seat in the café, I dove into it while my family shopped.

    The Writer’s Idea Workshop is everything you come to expect from a writing guide: lessons, action points, questions, and assignments. The thing that I admired most about it was that, while it had a good deal of knowledge and advice to offer, it put more emphasis on getting the reader to write rather than keeping them there reading page after page.

  2. Immediate Fiction. This was a required workbook in one of my college creative writing classes. And while I cringed at the title—is there really any such thing as “immediate fiction?”—I found myself to be pleasantly surprised at how helpful this book was. It hooked me from the introduction, where Cleaver does an excellent job of speaking in a conversational writer-to-writer voice that sets the tone for an enjoyable and not “preachy” learning experience.

    Though my class didn’t work through the entire book, I found the prompts to be interesting and useful. Like most manuals, it does treat writing as a fixed step-by-step process, which many writers may disagree with—but that didn’t take away from the positive experience I had.

  3. The Writember Workbook. This is one of my favorite writing guides of all time, and not just because it was written by our co-founder. Whereas The Writer’s Idea Workshop focuses on the “spark” and development of ideas and Immediate Fiction focuses on the writing process, The Writember Workbook is dedicated to helping writers take the very first step before any of that: making writing a habit.

    It’s been said before and will be said a billion times over: you can’t be a writer unless you write. Thanks to her unique background as a psychology graduate, Faye is able to take a look at the bare bones of habits and how we form them in order to help the reader become a more regular writer.  For something we love so much, we find a lot of creative ways to avoid it—and Faye’s e-guide, complete with worksheets, a Facebook support group, and regular pep talk emails, does a great job of stripping us of all our excuses and helping us both find and make time to write.

  4. The Elements of Style.  Chances are you’ve heard of this one, and for good reason. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is an iconic guide to grammar and proper writing that doesn’t once step into the boring territory of your sophomore English class. This one was a required guide in my advanced placement English class senior year of high school, and many of its lessons still stick with me today.

    Our teacher at the time used the guide to supplement our lessons and gauge how our writing was changing and improving. His style, just like Strunk and White’s, was dry and abrasive and hilariously devoid of BS (there was even a “Wall of Shame” put up on the blackboard after each round of essays was graded, displaying anonymous sentences pulled from the essays that blatantly ignored Strunk and White’s advice). This is a short guide that cuts to the chase because, just like in any good writing, there’s no room for unnecessary fluff.

  5. On Writing. Easily my favorite and, in my opinion, a must-read for any writer regardless of their taste or distaste for Stephen King’s fiction. Part memoir, part writing guide, On Writing has become nothing short of my writing bible. This one isn’t a workbook and doesn’t come with writing prompts or homework, but it is chock full of advice that’s going to resonate with everything you write.

    From avoiding excessive use of adverbs to revising and submitting your work, King has sage advice for the entire process of writing and publishing fiction. He’s not apologetic, though, and he’s a workaholic—just look at how many books he’s written—so don’t expect to get any sympathy or handholding here.

BONUS: The Writing Excuses Master Class! I’ve been a regular listener of the Writing Excuses Podcast for a little over a year now, so when season 10 went live with the announcement that it would be acting as a novel writing master class, I had a bit of a fangirl moment. In case you aren’t familiar, Writing Excuses is a podcast hosted by acclaimed authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. Episodes are released every Sunday and are approximately 15 minutes long, making them the perfect listen for a quick commute or a brief window of free time in your otherwise busy schedule.

Episodes range in topic from planning to writing to publishing and everything in-between; there are even episodes dedicated to helping writers navigate networking situations like conventions, as well as tips on proper online and in-person etiquette (hint: always be professional). In short, if it’s anything to do with writing or being a writer, they talk about it.

Season 10 of the show takes listeners step-by-step through the process of writing a novel. I personally lost steam with it after the first few weeks earlier this year, but only because I was already working on a project that has been in the works for a few years. When I look into beginning a new novel, though, this is going to be my first stop.

Even if you aren’t in the market for a new idea, consider giving the podcast a try. The hours of advice buried in those archives are invaluable, and even if they don’t have anything new to teach you (doubtful), they’re incredibly enjoyable and inspiring listens.

Do you have a preferred writing guide or workshop that’s helped shape you as a writer? Do you plan on picking any of these up or attempting the Writing Excuses Workshop? Let us know!

Writing for a Living: Coping With the Strain of Multiple Projects

There is a fine line between writing for life and writing for a living, and sometimes it’s easy for us writers to get caught up in the middle of multiple projects. Sometimes we don’t realize just how thinly we are spreading ourselves out to make other projects happen, but that’s what makes us so different from any other worker: writers are resourceful and resilient.

Unless you have a full time writing career with a firm, a paper, a website, a publisher or an agent, you will need to be prepared to hunt down big writing jobs or a lot of little projects in order to make a living . Being a new writer in the industry can be especially difficult, as sometimes the only option is to write what we are told to.

Now I can speak for a lot of writers when I say we try to justify taking extra projects on. We play that shuffling game in our heads, where we move around all of our current commitments and try to squeeze that extra project in. We make excuses for ourselves that sound a lot like, “Oh, It’s okay, I’m a writer! I love what I’m doing!” But little do we realize that we are draining our brains and exhausting our skill.

It’s important for writers, especially those who juggle creative and non-creative work, to find that perfect balance. Without a balanced schedule, our passion will easily become our stressor and that’s how writers lose momentum. Here are some tips and tricks I have found useful while balancing my novel, my freelance writing and my writing for school:

1. Every morning, create a writing plan:
Each morning I wake up and I curate “The List!” This is a list of all the tasks I need to complete that day. Sometimes the list is long, sometimes it only has one thing, but no matter what, I always have it near my computer. On this list, I make sure to include deadlines, priority tasks and scheduled 10-20 minute breaks.

2. Make sure you are distributing your time evenly:
Obviously some jobs are going to take a little more precedence over other personal projects, but always make sure to give yourself the wiggle room to write at least a little bit for yourself during the day. It’s not only going to be a huge stress reliever, but sometimes it actually can help your brain function better when writing for work.

3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew:
It’s easy to tell yourself, “I can do one more thing and I’ll be fine,” but you need to make sure that you physically and mentally can handle another project on your plate. It is completely alright to tell a client that you are busy–they more than likely understand that you’re busy because you’re talented, and they can wait until you’re available.

The most important tip I have to give is to always remember that, though you are a writer, you are still a human. Don’t feel bad if you can’t handle everything that is being thrown at you. It takes a skilled writer to work well under pressure but it takes a strong writer to know where to draw the line.


Mazie Bishop is a fiery 22 year-old writer and journalism student from Canada. She is self-published and also has several poems and short fiction pieces published in various anthologies and magazines. She is a big dreamer who hopes to be writing with the big guys some day and cannot wait for her career to start! Currently, she is in the process of writing her second novel, and is in the outlining stages of a quarter-life memoir. You can read about her little crafty adventures, read her work, and gander at her photos on www.theselittlepieces.com. Follow her on Twitter at @maziebones.

New Book Alert! Faye Kirwin’s “The Writember Workbook”

Exciting news, folks! Friday 1st May marked the launch of co-founder Faye Kirwin’s first e-book, The Writember Workbook. Clocking in at 274 pages, the workbook teaches authors how to use psychology to master the art of writing every day and is now available at Writerology.net.

Want to make writing a habit? The Writember Workshop will help you make that dream a reality. Over 32 lessons, you'll use psychology to master the art of daily writing—because your words matter.

If you’ve ever thought about writing on a regular basis, there’s never been a better time to make it a reality.

Over the course of the Writember Workshop, you’ll learn how to build the ultimate writing routine, find your personal motivation triggers, inspire yourself on demand and master self-discipline. The aim: to make writing a habit.

Interested? Then pick the programme that best suits you:

The Committed to Creativity Programme

The Guided Workbook

If you’re the go-it-alone type, then the newly released Writember Workbook will let you work through the 32 lessons and worksheets at a pace that suits your lifestyle. You’ll also be given access to the Writember Twitter and Facebook communities and receive a monthly email to keep you accountable on your daily writing journey.

The Serious About Storytelling Programme

The Ultimate Accountability E-Course

If you prefer accountability and personalised support, then the Writember e-course is more up your street. In this programme, you’ll have a lesson and worksheet delivered to your inbox every day for a month, receive one-to-one coaching, and get a free copy of the Writember Workbook.

Want to make writing a habit? The Writember Workshop will help you make that dream a reality. Over 32 lessons, you'll use psychology to master the art of daily writing—because your words matter.

Want to take part in the Writember Workshop? Head on over to Writerology and enrol on your perfect programme!

Still not sure? Hear about the workshop from a past student, Kristen Kieffer of She’s Novel, who now has a stunning writing streak of over 60 days:

“Struggle no more! I was a binge writer banging out 1,000s of words once every couple of weeks before I found the Writember Workshop, and it was plain to see that my writing wasn’t getting any better. I knew I had a problem, but I still struggled with adopting the daily writing mentality.

The Writember Workshop held me accountable for the length of the course and taught me how to sustain my writing habit once the month was over. I now write every single day and my work is visibly improving. Three cheers for Faye and her amazing course!”


Tell us what you think of the Writember Workbook in the comments below or get your own copy here!

Stay Inspired: How to Maintain a Writing Mindset

Stay InspiredIt can be hard to stay motivated to write day in and day out. Aside from the demands life makes on our time, there are obstacles like writer’s block or self-doubt or – worst of all – obscurity. It’s impressive that any author ever has the mental strength to get anything done.

But many authors get a lot of writing done. A LOT do, in fact. Tons of writers produce large quantities of work every year (which, coincidentally, I think may be the secret to writing success…but that’s for another post).

So what’s the secret? How do you stay focused? How do you produce multiple pieces a year? Here’s my answer: find a way to maintain a writing mindset at all times. Albeit, it’s easier said than done. So here are some tips to help foster a lifestyle that will keep you writing.

Read with a critical eye. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to just lose yourself in a book. Book every now and then, delve into a book with the intent to examine it. See what you like and what you don’t like. Think about how you can apply some techniques to your own writing. Or what you want to avoid. Being conscious of what other authors have put out into the world means you’ll be conscious of what you write – and it’ll make you WANT to write.

Socialize… with other writers. Find a writing group in your area – or a writing buddy. Or take to Twitter, Facebook, or the dozens of websites out there that allow you to connect with fellow wordsmiths. Talking shop and seeing what others are doing will inspire you to keep the words coming.

Socialize some more… with your readers. If you have readers – whether it’s 5 or 5,000, take some time to interact. Social media, your own website, and email are great ways to stay in touch with your readers. You’ll find that the more you talk to people who love what you’re writing, the more you’ll want to write great stuff for them.

Talk about writing. A lot. To your writing friends, your readers, your family. Anyone who will listen. Talk about something you are writing – or something you want to write. Talk about why you write, or what you’ve learned from writing. Talk about it when you can. More often than not, you’ll start to hear some pretty good ideas come out of your mouth. And then you can move those to paper.

Study up. Read books about the craft of writing. Or marketing or publishing. Or listen to podcasts on the same subject. Let other people get you excited about the process. Let their ideas spark your own. Or re-purpose their brilliant ideas (DO NOT plagiarize or steal – just let yourself be inspired). Enthusiasm is contagious, so go out and catch it.

Take a walk down memory lane. Revisit some of your greatest hits – your favorite past pieces. Or pick up a project you never finished and start breathing more life into it. Remind yourself how far you’ve come with your writing. And then set your sites on where you want to go.


So go on. Get out there are find ways to keep yourself inspired. And, as always, keep writing!


Got any suggestions on how to stay in the writing mindset? Share your knowledge in the comments below!

#SundayScribes – Sunday Word Sprints

SundayScribesHey there word sprinters! We’ve made it half way through #NaNoWriMo. Congrats! But in order to keep our writing strong, we’ve added a new weekly sprinting event to our roster: #SundayScribes! Every Sunday, Sprint Shack co-founder Taylor will be hosting an hour of word sprints on our Twitter account. Join us at @TheSprintShack every Sunday for some weekend writing.

GMT: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
PST: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Wrap up the weekend with an hour of creativity-boosting word sprints!

For more information on word sprinting and how to join in, check out our FAQ page.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Kick-Off!

It’s here! NaNoWriMo 2014 has arrived!


We know you’re busy plunging into your novels and building the foundation for your word counts, so we’ll keep this short. Here are a few things we’ll be doing here around The Sprint Shack (in addition to writing our own NaNo novels), to help you hit that 50,000th word by the end of the month!

Word Sprints

We’re hosting our normal schedule of word sprints each week in November. You can join in any of these sprints that we host on our Twitter account:

Mondays: Competitive #wordscrim at 14:00 PDT / 17:00 EDT / 22:00 GMT, hosted by Faye.

Tuesdays: #TNightSprints at 18:00 PDT / 21:00 EDT / 02:00 GMT, hosted by Cristina.

Wednesdays: Competitive #wordscrim at 14:00 PDT / 17:00 EDT / 22:00 GMT, hosted by Faye.

Thursdays: #TNightSprints at 18:00 PDT / 21:00 EDT / 02:00 GMT, hosted by Cristina.

Saturdays: #TalesAndTea Party from 08:00-10:00 PDT / 11:00-13:00 EDT / 16:00-18:00 GMT, hosted by Faye.

Sundays: #SundayScribes from 10:00-11:00 PDT / 13:00-14:00 EDT / 18:00-19:00 GMT, hosted by Taylor.

Don’t forget about #WriteClub (hosted by @FriNightWrites) every Friday and #Wordscrim Wednesday (hosted by all of these wordy folk) every–you guessed it–Wednesday! We’ll also keep you updated on other special NaNo sprints going on throughout the month.


As usual, we’ll be posting here with tips on how to make the most out of this year’s NaNoWriMo and motivation to keep those words flowing! We’d also like to take this time to announce that the wonderful Mazie Bishop will also be contributing to The Sprint Shack this November in order to help us help you on your NaNoWriMo adventure! Say hello in the comments and make her feel welcome!



We’ll make sure to provide a bit of entertainment to you all (via #NaNoWagers and other shenanigans)!

Our Novels

Lastly, we want to give you a look at what we’re all working on for NaNo this year!

Taylor Eaton

I’m working on a fantasy novel. That’s right. A FULL LENGTH NOVEL. This is a huge leap from the flash fiction that I typically write. I completed a full novel last NaNo, but couldn’t bring myself to ever re-visit it. And this year I’m trying something different: I’m pantsing it. All the way. No outlines. No plotlines. Nothing has been prepared. I’m excited and extremely apprehensive to get started. 50k, here I come!

Faye Kirwin

This year I’m rebelling and working on two projects over the next 30 days: one is a novel idea I’ve had for a few years now and finally hammered out a plot for, and one is editing (shock, horror!) a past NaNoWriMo novel. As a result, I don’t know if I’ll reach 50k, but I intend to use all the sprints and writathons of NaNoWriMo to help me make headway on two WIPs that should have been finished a loooong time ago. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Cristina Guarino

I guess I’m a combination of Faye and Taylor: I’m being a bit of a rebel by working on my old fantasy novel, rather than a brand new novel. There are still a few ten thousands of words left to FINALLY complete the first draft, and then I can loop back around and do some VERY much-needed rewrites of the first third or so. I don’t know if I’ll get to 50k either, as the rewriting process might take me longer than my typical NaNoWriMo writing, but the fresh writing I’ll be starting with should take up a good deal of my word count goal… especially since I, too, am pantsing the rest!


What are you working on this NaNo? What would you like to see from us to help make sure your NaNo is the best one yet? Let us know in the comments below. Happy NaNo-ing!