Gini Dietrich

National Novel Writing Month Begins Today and We’re Participating

By: Gini Dietrich | November 1, 2012 | 

I have been prepping for today since August.

November 1. A Thursday. What’s the big deal?

Well, I let Debra Caplick talk me in to (challenge me?) participating in NaNoWriMo.

Say what?

It’s National Novel Writing Month, which gives you 30 days to write 50,000 words. And it starts today!

As it turns out, though, you can’t write the same word 50,000 times (I checked).

You also can’t submit anything you’ve already written. You have to start from scratch. The only thing you can have done before today is write an outline and do your research.

So the outline, characters, plot, and initial research is in a notebook with a bicycle on the front of it. Some of you have likely seen me carrying it around, protecting it more than my pretty red Moleskin (where client/work stuff is written).

Here are the rules:

  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

You have 30 days to write a full book of fiction, which (admittedly) is much better than the guys who wrote Execute in one week (er, the goal was a week, but they did it in eight days).

Between prepping the business for our best year ever next year, continuing to write here every day, taking two trips outside of the country, and Thanksgiving, this should be a pretty good challenge.

I’ve had the book swirling in my head for a good four months so I’m ready to get it onto paper. If I accomplish it, Erik Hare is going to give it a good first edit and then we’ll find a publisher.

Besides Debra, I know Michael Schechter and Brent Carnduff also are participating.

It’s not too late to join the party, if you’re so inclined. If you’re participating, let us know so we can all hold each other accountable cheer one another one.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • LauriRottmayer

    @ginidietrich I was all prepared to dive in this year until I took the job @MeadowlakeRanch. Might do in Dec. 🙂 @SpinSucks

    • ginidietrich

      @LauriRottmayer Stupid careers always getting in the way!

      • LauriRottmayer

        @ginidietrich Yes, so much to learn but I am going do do it a different month when I’ve got a grip. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @LauriRottmayer Good! I hope you so. Though I’ll miss not being able to commiserate with you this month.

  • I’ve always wanted to try this, but haven’t. Maybe next year. Right now I have other fish to fry. But good luck and I’ll be cheering you on! Looking forward to reading 50 Shades of Gini when you finish it.

    • @KenMueller It’s not going to be 50 Shades of Anything. Jeez.

      • @ginidietrich 60 Shades of @Sean McGinnis ?

        • @KenMueller  @ginidietrich The only “book” I’ll ever write will be titled “The 50 Beers I’ve Dribbled Down My Chin.”

        • @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller Yesterday, during our staff meeting, we were talking about the crazy stories from meetings with prospects. We were joking we should write a book about them. Allen said, “I have the perfect title! Fifty Shades of Prospects.”

        • @ginidietrich  @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller Or Fifty Shades of Clients! 😉 That would be SOME book!

        • @lauraclick  @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller Bwahahaaha! That’s actually what started the conversation. LOL!

  • You’re crazy.

    • @Sean McGinnis But you already knew this. And I’ve already written my 1,600 words for the day. Off to a great start!

      • @ginidietrich Yes. Yes I did. Still, nice to have external validation of what I already knew.
        Makes me feel much smarter.

    • @Sean McGinnis but all the great ones are, at least a little bit, right? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself at night.

      • @TonyBennett  @Sean I’m sure Gini keeps telling herself that too. 😉

  • PRMurewa

    @ginidietrich absolutely yes. I always need a deadline to churn out materials. Maybe, I finally shall publish something.

    • ginidietrich

      @PRMurewa I’m finding it’s MUCH easier to write a business book than a novel.

  • belllindsay

    What @Sean McGinnis said. 😉

    • @belllindsay  Don’t make me fire you again.

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Hahah! Now I imagine the Lindsay Gini version of Princess Bride.
        Good night Lindsay. Sleep well. I’ll most likely fire you in the morning….

  • Good luck!

    • @NancyMyrland Thank you, Nancy! The goal is 1,600 words each day (takes about an hour) and I already have today complete. So we’ll see how I do with some travel and the holidays coming up.

  • OneJillian

    Go, Gini, Go!!!!! RT @ginidietrich: It’s National November Writing Month and we’re participating (clearly I’m nuts)!

    • ginidietrich

      @OneJillian Thank you! Day one complete!

      • OneJillian

        .@ginidietrich i remember @RicDragon incorporated #NaNoWriMo into writing his book (Social Marketology) last year. His office was a MESS 🙂

  • heybethanyrae

    A fiction novel? Can’t wait to read it! RT @ginidietrich: It’s National November Writing Month and we’re participating!

    • ginidietrich

      @heybethanyrae Well, we’ll see. Right now it’s just the idea out of my head and on to paper. Then we’ll see if it’s something publishable.

  • Good luck, my friend! I don’t know why, but writing fiction scares the bejeezus out of me.

    • @jasonkonopinski Really? You, of all people, I’d think would do this with no problem.

      • @ginidietrich I think the realization for me was reading “A Prayer for Owen Meany”, looking up with tears in my eyes and knowing that I’d never be able to craft sentences so perfect and beautiful that they just take my breath away.  Next year, perhaps.

        • @jasonkonopinski I don’t think that’s true. I definitely think you can craft sentences that way.

        • @jasonkonopinski I’m with you Jason, except my fear comes from what my diabolical mind would come up with (bwahaha) @ginidietrich

        • @TonyBennett  @ginidietrich I’ve never really sat down and tried to write long-form fiction, to be honest. Maybe it’s character development that confounds me.

        • @jasonkonopinski  The thing that’s cool about this month is you just write. You don’t worry about character development or editing or the complete story line. You just write. THEN you go back and do all of that. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve already written myself notes to go back and fix things, but I’m not fixing them until the full thing is on paper.

        • @ginidietrich Stop tempting me, you harpy!

        • @jasonkonopinski DO IT!!

        • @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich Jason. DO IT.

        • @kateupdates  @ginidietrich I’m giving myself until the end of the day to make a decision. Satisfied? Yeesh, you two. Bloody hell.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich I’m sweating and I frightened and excited … I just signed up. I’m in. Ohmygoodnessgraciousbatman.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich So much so that I can’t type straight apparently 🙂

        • @jasonkonopinski  @kateupdates YAY! And yay to Kate for signing up!!

  • Justjeffpls

    @ginidietrich I seen stuff that’s really hard 2 put on paper. I remember ’62 2 ’67, U had 2 live then. Seen slant that works n my mind.

  • ginidietrich

    @John_Trader1 And I have 1,600 already finished!

    • John_Trader1

      @ginidietrich You are a tiger. I appreciate the motivation you give me to always work hard & think creatively.

  • ginidietrich

    @decillis You are?!? YAY!!

  • ginidietrich

    @martinwaxman You should do it!

    • martinwaxman

      @ginidietrich It’s tempting but I don’t have an idea for one… Even a framework of a story. I’ll see if anything pops into my head

  • Welp, here goes: I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve had an idea in my head for a few months that won’t go away. I started writing a few months ago, then put it on the back burner. I figure this is as good a time as any to revisit it.
    The goal is 50,000 words. Whether or not they amount to anything is another story, but sometimes you just have to put yourself out there, amirite?

    • @bradmarley YAY!!!!!!! I’m so happy to hear this! We’ll be able to hold each other accountable. Yay!!

      • @ginidietrich I read this post this morning: I’m going to follow it as closely as possible.

        • @bradmarley That seems to be the general consensus. The hardest part for me, one day in, is not editing. So, instead, I’m writing notes to myself so I don’t forget what I want to change in the second draft.

        • @ginidietrich Great idea. I’m not going to think about the second draft until the first draft is done. Perhaps that’s a key indicator of my confidence. 🙂

  • But Gini, if I write “more than one word” 50,000 times, it’ll be too long – no one wants to read 200,000 words.
    Ok, I’ll at least think about it for a couple hours.

    • @TonyBennett I’ll bet you could write two words 25,000 times.

      • @ginidietrich  @TonyBennett I got two words for you right here.

  • Debra Pickett

    You’ll love it! I did it for the first time last year and had an awesome time. 1667 words a day is not the hard part — it’s the 30 days in a row part that’s really tough.

    • @Debra Pickett I’m thinking it won’t be a big deal because I write every day anyway. But I am adding an extra hour to each day, which will get troublesome around the 15th, when I go back out on the road.

  • Gini – you are amazing! How can you possibly have 1600 words written already? So, I have a confession to make. I’ve been thinking that I really need to write a business related eBook, rather than a novel right now. Then I came across a copyblogger article in which they use NaNoWriMo to encourage eBook writing – eBookWriMo. So, I will be writing faction instead of fiction this month, but am still excited to do it. I wish you the best of luck and am anxious to hear all about your experiences.

    • That’s awesome! The fact that you’re participating is fantastic. I shall be bugging you about it!
      (I spent all of October getting two days ahead in my blog writing so I can spend an hour every day on NaNoWriMo. We’ll see if I can keep it up.)

  • I am in.

  • debdobson62

    Dang Gini.  I’ve had a book being drafted in my head for a couple of months.  Now I read this post.  Okay, I’m in.

  • Funny you should be mentioning this. I signed up to do it this morning BEFORE reading this. Don’t you love simpatico? Onward we write.

  • jenzings

    Good luck Gini! I attempted this last year, and at 14K words had life take over–writing every day can be tough.
    Still debating if I’m going to give it a go again this year, and if so, trying to figure out if I just need to complete what I started last year or go fresh. I tend to do better writing short fiction than long fiction. (Hey, you are in Chicago…if you’re so inclined, pick up the latest issue of Graze Magazine, I have a piece of fiction published in there!)
    Again, best wishes & all that!

    • @jenzings I’m thinking it’s not going to be a big deal because I already write every day…and I did this last year when we wrote Marketing in the Round. But I do have to get up an hour earlier and there is some travel coming up AND the holidays so that may do me in.

  • You must read ‘No Plot? No Problem’. I didn’t do this in November but attempted this past summer. got to about 30K words and just hit a wall. Wishing you loads of luck!!

    • @C_Pappas I don’t have time to read right now! Also, I can’t get through The Casual Vacancy. Have you read it?

      • @ginidietrich It’s a very fast read! And you it flows right along with each week of the month of November to help motivate you and how to get to the 50K when you are stuck.
        Have not heard of The Casual Vacancy…it’s bad? What’s wrong with it?

    • rdopping

      @C_Pappas Is that a cocktail in your hand?

  • I’ve given myself until the end of the day to decide. Thing is that I don’t want to write a NOVEL. 🙂 But that shouldn’t matter right? I mean I write 1667 words a day just in Facebook conversations. 

    • @Tinu LMAO!! You could tie all the FB conversations together and create a book. That’d actually be kind of funny.

      • @ginidietrich and bonus – it would Scandalize my name. 🙂

        • @Tinu  @ginidietrich You can take the 23 words I type on Facebook every two days that would give you over 1670 words a day.

  • Phew I just finished mine. How much farther do you have @ginidietrich

    • @HowieG  @ginidietrich HowieG how did you get so funny?!

      • @kateupdates  @HowieG Don’t encourage him, Kate.

        • @ginidietrich  @kateupdates since I posted that @bdorman264 @KenMueller and I pounded out another 50,000 words. Our secret? A car battery. Two live wire ends. And an IPhone5. It is amazing what Siri can do when under threat of being shocked.

  • Wow. Ok this is kinda of a short notice but I’ll think about it today … but I did just commit to no TV for the month … hm. I’m really excited for you to do this though! I will totally buy your novel. Also, I need to buy Marketing In the Round … I’ll do that now. So maybe I’ll just read that?! I’ll let you know.

    • @kateupdates And then you signed up!

    • @kateupdates Did you sign up Kate?

      • @RebeccaTodd Guilty. Did you?

        • @kateupdates Not yet. I’m not sure the world is ready for my words.

  • Like @kateupdates this is kind of short notice for me too. Have to think about it. But Good Luck to you! 🙂

    • @Hajra   If you have something swirling in your head, you can totally do it.

      • @ginidietrich I have had had some ideas swirling for some time now, might give it a try 🙂

  • NancyCawleyJean

    Good luck, Gini! I bet you have it done by November 15, and it will be fabulous!

    • @NancyCawleyJean Um, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I think it’ll take me every bit of the month.

  • KevinVandever

    I’m doing it! I already signed up. Cool to see you are doing it, too. I have a couple ideas, but will decide for certain this evening. Good luck to all who attempt it.

    • @KevinVandever Sweet! I can’t wait to text you about it!

  • I commented on @belllindsay ‘s post about James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. No one has ever deciphered it. People think he was drunk and mad. It was written using 60 languages. And it surely has 50,000 words. And to this day know one knows if it was brilliance or gibberish. I have to believe we can do that here on Spin Sucks with the community. We each add one word then pass it around. Plus JK Rowling has nothing going on these days maybe she can help edit it.

    • @HowieG Joyce was mad.  What’s wrong with that?  🙂

    • @HowieG  @belllindsay OMG! You’re so smart!

      • @ginidietrich  @HowieG  @belllindsay That’s pretty much my goal in life- to compose something so potentially rife with meaning that no one dares notice that it is absolute bunk.

  • I heard my name.  Am I in trouble?  🙂
    I do a lot of initial reviews of works – there’s a score sheet that I use to get into important elements like character, plot, opening, etc.  If anyone else would like to make use of this service, please let me know.  The easiest way is by using my real name, Erik Hare, as a gmail address (how’s that for anti-spam?).

  • Sounds kind of scary to me; it’s sounds like the push that could get me started, but I don’t know. I would like to say I’m busy and have too much on my plate but you have already shamed me by all that you have to do. 
    I think I’ll get my hair did instead.
    Good luck.

  • Got my first 2,000 done (I will need that cushion before the end of the month!).

    • @DebraCaplick I’m six chapters in and at 3,500 words. Today was a bit harder than yesterday.

  • BrentCarnduff

    @ginidietrich @dcaplick @MSchechter Good luck everyone!

  • “As it turns out, though, you can’t write the same word 50,000 times (I checked).” That’s funny! This is very awesome. Good luck. I would have participated but I was on a field trip to Universal Studios with a bunch of 8th graders yesterday when I found this out – no real chance to write an outline. (“Hey kids, I’m going to sit this one out.”) He he.

    • @aspinchick I think you win the worst nightmare of all.

      • @ginidietrich Thanks. 13-year-old girls…2 hours from home. Traffic all the way back from LA. Heh. I’m not a drinker, so  had some funnel cake at to console myself.

  • I wasn’t going to to NANO Nanoo…wait, that is Mork, from Ork. Well, anyway, I hadn’t planned on doing it, but I like the idea of playing, too. I’m one day behind, so I’ll have to play some catch-up. No outlines for me, though, I’m going to have to just wing it.

    • @ExtremelyAvg Do it! I can’t wait to read what you write. And I love to edit…

    • @ExtremelyAvg I can’t wait to see what you write too!

      • @ginidietrich Okay, with less than 2 hours left in day 2, I’ve gotten started. My project is going to be the sequel to a book I haven’t finished, yet (it’s at 30K). I’ve written 626 words. 
        Tomorrow, which will be a long day at work, will be tough, but I plan on thinking about the story. I should be able to get some writing done in the evening, but I’ll be well behind by day 4. Sunday will be key and I’ll need to have a huge day. Still, I’ve done it before, so as long as I’m back in the ballpark by the end of the day, I should be fine.

        • @ginidietrich Update…2640 on words. Still way behind.

        • @ExtremelyAvg That’s OK! You’re a pro at fiction writing. The fact that you’re doing it is the idea!

        • @ginidietrich Time for a break, but I’ve made it to 3762. What is your count, Gini?

        • @ExtremelyAvg I’m at 8,500 as of this morning.

        • @ginidietrich I’m off to bed, but I thought I stop in and update my count.  I’m at 4,873, so I’m creeping along.

        • @ExtremelyAvg I’m at 8,728 right now and need to get to a meeting. I need 10,000 today so have some catching up to do.

    • rdopping

      @ExtremelyAvg Get on it Brian. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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  • This is fantastic!  Good luck, Gini. I know this is your real dream (as a writer).

    • @geoffliving Thanks Geoff! It’s definitely harder than writing a business book. A lot harder!

  • rdopping

    Ok. Gini, how the heck do you do it? I wish you all the luck in the world and can’t wait to read what you come up with. BTW, thanks for the connection to Mr. Hare. Nice.

    • @rdopping Well, we’ll see. It may never see the light of day.

      • rdopping

        @ginidietrich There’s the confidence we all know and love. Enjoy the process. I am sure it’ll be fun.

  • ginidietrich

    @RebeccaLPage I’m 6,700 words in so I’m on track. We’ll see!

  • ginidietrich

    @JDianeAbela Yeah!! There are a bunch of us writing if you need motivation.

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