Well who knew? Nanowrimo – here I come


Healing wishes being sent to my friends on a regular basis


I didn’t know I was going to do it until this past weekend. A friend of mine left town and asked me to house-sit until she came back.

I love house-sitting for her for several reasons:

  • She keeps a fantastic stash of cookies (yup, I broke that ketogenic diet right in half this weekend)
  • She’s got great pets that make me laugh
  • I don’t know how to work her TV set (she has about a half dozen remotes that must be used in a highly specific sequence) so I can’t waste time watching shows

This all means that I get to read and write uninterrupted (expect for the occasional cookie run) the entire time I’m there. While munching on a handful of goldfish crackers, I was thinking about some friends of ours who had gotten into a horrific car accident (sending positive prayers to you guys constantly.) Their accident was so random, so out of the blue, so not their fault.

You just never know.

It got me thinking. What are the lessons I’ve learned that I want my kids to know and what if I never get around to telling them because I’m too busy?

I started listing bits of advice this mama hen has gathered throughout her life that she’d want to share with her chicks. When I looked at the list (it currently stands at over 200 items), I realized that I could match pretty much every lesson up with a story from our backyard chicken flock.

Ah-ha! That would make for a great book (if only to give my kids.)

But how on earth was I going to find the time on top of all of my other writing assignments to get this project done?

Enter Nanowrimo which starts when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on October 31.

I didn’t do Nanowrimo last year and I certainly didn’t *think* that I was going to do it this year (too occupied with other writing is my  standard excuse), but in this case, Nano is the prefect kick in the butt for what I want to do. I have the stories, they all exist in my head – and because I hate to lose, the incentive is there to find the time to get them out and onto the screen.

Nanowrimo will be the gift of “getting it done no matter how busy I am.”

So while I wasn’t planning on participating in a writing challenge this year, you can count me in. Nanowrimo gives me the perfect opportunity to write all those stories of life lessons for my kids – because you just never know, right?

How about you? Anyone else going to take the Nanowrimo challenge?


Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.


22 thoughts on “Well who knew? Nanowrimo – here I come

  1. I am fairly new to blogging (just two months) so, NaNowriMo is not within my reach (yet) perhaps next year. For the meantime, I will polish what have to be polish, soak up everything I could and practice, practice, practice! and hopefully I will be ready then. Happy Wednesday 🙂

  2. I won’t be participating. I’ve done it in the past, and I’ve got to focus on my current projects. But I’ll be rooting you along.

  3. Yes, I’m participating in NanoWriMo this year. I’ve never done it before and am pretty nervous about it to be honest, BUT, I like a challenge. Part of the reason I’m doing it is to try writing in a different way. I usually write at a glacial pace, sometimes just a few sentences in a day, but Nano will force me to write quickly. I”m curious to see whether or not I come up with anything useful when I don’t give myself time to ponder, go back, edit, ponder again etc.

    I hope to post up some of my progress on the blog too – which means writing even more each day but I think it will be worth it.

    Good luck with your challenge.

  4. GLad you found some time to reflect at your friend’s house! With six children I can only imagine how difficult it must be to find quiet. Good for you for taking on another challenge – you must be superhuman to be able to balance everything and still be able to find time to craft life lessons for your children through chicks! You must have all the right cluck! grin. Bravo.

  5. This will be my third NaNo, and it’s totally worth it. The best part is the super-supportive community, but it’s also a great way to learn just how much you can write when a little something is at stake. You don’t necessarily have to write every day, but there are constant little events going on – sprints, marathons, write-ins- to help you produce a lot of words. I definitely recommend it!

  6. Love this Wendy! Taking control when you choose to, not because you’re forced to. I recently published my book, and I’d have to say while it was a 2 year project in the making, the bulk of the writing was in 3 months. I may just join you for the challenge this month.

  7. Yes, I’ll be doing my 6th Nano, I love Nano. Each year I get better; the first 4 years I just got to 50k and then stopped, but last year I managed 87k and reached ‘the end’! The story had lots of problems though and I haven’t managed to edit it yet.

    This year I finally trying out Scrivener, using the Nano trial, and I love it. I am already plotting my novel and it is coming together well, so I have high hopes to improve on last year.

  8. I need friends with houses like this! Although I’ve done NaNoWriMo in the past, I’m not sure about this year. I have a deadline in the middle of November for draft of the project that I’m most likely to want to do for Nano and I’m just not sure I can keep from writing until Nov. 1. On the other hand, the project is a novella, not a full length novel, so a draft and a finished version might be something I could accomplish in a month but kind of defeats the “just write” purpose of doing Nano. It’s great having a month of just writing, and I wish everyone the best of luck on their NaNoWriMo adventure. I’m just not sure it’s for me this year.

  9. I’m going to apply this challenge to a project that I can’t seem to stay focused on – Cleaning out my basement! This has been a huge challenge for me, but you have inspired me to look at it as a 30-day marathon! Thank you!!

  10. This is the first time I’ve heard of Nanowrimo, so thank you for introducing it to me! Sounds like a fab challenge, good luck with it 🙂 perhaps I’ll try a personal/ private one this year, and get serious for 2015 xX

  11. I’m participating this year again and hope to “win” again! Your NaNoWriMo project sounds really interesting, definitely something I would pick up and read if I saw it somewhere.

  12. Pingback: Lesson 1137 – Quotable Chicks | Lessons Learned from the Flock

  13. Yep, I’m participating this year, as I have for the last two years. I’m trying out a different style of writing this year. I’m aiming for a collection of short stories in a genre I’ve wanted to try, but never put any time toward. Like you, I’m using NaNo as a way to flex my fingers for something I wouldn’t have the time for otherwise. Good luck! 🙂

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