By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

November is right around the corner and so is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo (as it’s called) is an annual writing marathon started by Chris Baty in 1999 as a way to get himself, and about a hundred other participants, writing for fun. It has since bloomed into a worldwide event with over 400,000 participants. Join me as I participate in NaNoWriMo 2015 by writing a novel in 30 days.

Write a Novel in 30 Days with NaNoWriMo 2015

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, beginning at midnight on November 1 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Sounds like quite the feat, doesn’t it? That’s part of the fun! Whether you are an aspiring novelist or someone who hasn’t written a sentence outside of high school English class, NaNoWriMo encourages anyone and everyone to participate. Genre, quality and experience don’t matter. The point is to write as much as possible for 30 days. It is a personal, creative and mental challenge much like running a marathon is a physical challenge. You push yourself to the mental limit, cranking out an average of 1,667 words a day, which averages about 2-3 hours of writing a day for 30 days straight.

How does one prepare to take on a challenge like this? NaNo creator Baty wrote the book, No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, to motivate NaNo participants and other writers to stop stressing and get writing. The Nanowrimo website has numerous resources to inspire writers including writing tips, coaches, community forums and Municipal Liaisons (ML). MLs are local volunteers whose job is to encourage NaNo participants to keep writing by organizing fun write-ins and parties to celebrate accomplishments. You can also organize your own writing group by convincing your friends to take on this crazy challenge with you!

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo four times in years past. The most I managed to accomplish was a max of 35,000 words before my exhausted mind just couldn’t go any further. This year I am determined to finish all 50,000 words. I’ve managed to wrangle some members of my own writing group, Plot Hunters, and hopefully some co-workers into participating with me this year.

NaNoWriMo isn’t just for amateurs. Some best-selling books have been written during NaNo including The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (which falls on our list of Top 10 Books We Wish Customers Would Request), Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. If you ever wanted to write a novel or just push the limits of your mental ability and imagination, give NaNoWrimo a try. Sign up at to track your word count as you go, see how well your fellow writers and friends are doing, submit your completed novel for word count verification and browse the forums to see what events your local MLs have cooked up to help you get to 50,000 words.

If you need a place to write, let our stores be your office away from home. We have comfy chairs and free wifi. You can bring a coffee (or if you’re in Flagstaff, pick one up at our Flag Cafe), take in inspiration from our orange shelves and pound away at your keyboard. Keep us in the loop on your progress with comments here or by tagging us over social media. We’d love to hear from you. Good luck!