Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating National Novel Writing Month

I Win! Well, Sort Of ...

Each year, in November, writers and wanna-be novelists from all over the world accept the challenge of generating a story of 50, 000 words during the 30 days, producing 1,700 words daily. Roughly, that's seven pages of 250
words each, with double spaced sentences. Day after day after day. Fortunately, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, does its best to inspire us to get those scintillating tales out of our heads and on to paper. For a number of years I’ve joined buddies at coffeehouse write-ins as well as meeting them online in chat rooms and we’ve poured out our stories.

Some years we cross the 50K mark and others we don’t, but we always succeed in having a good time adding to the wads of words we hope one day will wind up as a published novel. This year, despite the dramas of normal life, I won! Yes! I crossed the 50,000-word finish line. No publishers are beating a path to my door. Not yet,anyway. But I'm hopeful.

To commemorate that milestone as well as acknowledging all my writing buddies whose fingers raced over keyboards with me, I’d like to share 13 statistics about National Novel Writing Month.

  1. 256,618 people participated in this year's NaNoWriMo challenge.

  2. Together, participants wrote a total of 3,074,068,446 words. That's
    billions, not millions. Wow!

  3. The average word-count per person: 11,979 words.

  4. A total of 36,774 writers crossed the 50k finish line.

  5. That means 14% of participants were winners.

  6. In the Young Writers Program, 81,041 participated.

  7. Young Writers are those under 12 years of age. Most take part
    in activities in the classroom. They wrote a total of 368,143,078 words.

  8. The Young Writers' average: 7,199 words per person.

  9. The National Novel Writing Site recorded 5,384,040 visits in
    November. Want to visit, too? Go to

  10. Where did all these visitors come from? Well, the largest number -- 77,947 -- came from New York.

  11. Google recorded 62,286 "guests" from London.

  12. The city closest to me, Madison, Wisconsin, had 12,650 visitors to the National Novel Writing’s site.

  13. All together, 3,605,003 people in the United States took a gander at and/or participated in NaNoWriMo.

Did you participate? What did you like best about the experience? The least? Please share your experience with me. Thanks.



  1. All of these statistics are amazing, but the fact that so many kids participated and wrote so much is the BEST! I LOVE that! Hoping one day, when my kids get a little older, they will try it.

  2. KendallGrey,
    Yeah, I'm with you. I'd love to see all kids become writers. :)

  3. That's a lot of participants. Congrats on finishing, Brenda!

  4. I have always wanted to do this, but I forget about it.

    Congratulations on finishing. That is a lot of words, pages, and thinking. A great accomplishment with or without a publisher.

  5. Heather,
    I'm amazed so many people take part in National Novel Writing Month. I guess, like me, they really enjoy the experience.

  6. CountryDew,
    Yeah,it's fun to get affirmation especially as pre-published author. :) I think the people at National Novel Writing's site have a Camp Nano, where you can pick a month and write 50K so you're not out of luck, if you want to try.

  7. I hadn't realized so few of us made it to 50,000. Seemed most of those on my buddy list who did it this year succeeded. But then I tend to hang out with professionals.

  8. congrats
    Happy holidays and happty tt

  9. AliceAudrey,
    Yeah, I was surprised that only fourteen percent finish the whole 50K, but then I too have a lot of writing friends--you being one of them. :)

  10. How exciting!

    Have a great Thursday!

  11. Awesome stats! I was an unofficial participant this year, I had to spread that 50k over several projects due to deadlines. But unofficial or not, I made it, as did most folks I know. Gotta love hanging out with writers! :)

    Happy T13,

    13 Pieces of Eye Candy

  12. Xakara,
    Grin. I can't picture you not writing. I'm glad you finished, official or not. Kudos!

  13. That is mighty impressive, writing 50,000 words in a month. Congrats! And thanks for the stats too... I think I assumed most people who participated would complete the 50,000... so Double Congrats on being one of the disciplined ones!

  14. I'm surprised how many people participate. I've never been tempted. Just thinking about it makes me tire. I've never written a novel (a memoir, yes) but I think it would be great for building skills.

  15. sherilee,
    Thanks. I don't always think of myself as the disciplined one of my friends, but I do enjoy writing.

  16. Colleen,
    Yeah, NaNoWriMo is a bit crazy, but it's fun crazy. I look forward to the challenge every year.

  17. Lady Rose,
    Sorry I missed you earlier. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. It's amazing to me how many people participate in this every year. I'm always at my most swamped in November, so I've never done it. I honestly don't think I will, ever, because of the pressure it creates. LOL!

    Happy Belated TT!

  19. Yeah, NaNoWriMo isn't for everyone. There is pressure to make the daily word count. I enjoy rising to the challenge, but some people don't.

    It's good to know yourself and how you write best...sticking with what works is a good idea, especially since you're an established author.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  20. I started out strong but petered out on my Nano. But there's always another November, right?

  21. The Gal Herself,

    You tried. That in itself is a victory. And you're right--next year will be here before we know it.