My first experience as a NaNoWriMo participant

This year I decided to jump into the deep end of being committed to writing: I signed up to participate in November’s National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo. If you aren’t familiar, the goal of NaNo is to write a 50,000 word novel between 21:01 am on 11/1 and 11:59 pm on 11/30. To accomplish this feat requires writing a minimum of 1667 words every day for the entire month. It can feel an overwhelming task but I was determined to give it a go.

One of the NaNo rules is that the project must be a new work. I decided to tackle an idea I’d nurtured for over a decade. The original concept was inspired by a casual comment from a friend who was suffering through some rather formidable financial challenges. Over wine and snacks one evening he sat back and said, “Man, why couldn’t I have been born rich?” And thus the seed was planted.

Shortly after my friend first uttered the inspirational sentence I’d tried to write Born Rich as a short story, but there was just too much STORY there so I gave up. NaNo seemed the perfect time to jump onto the story with a vengeance.

Born Rich is the story of a future society where everyone actually is born rich. Here’s the synopsis:

“What if you were born with an allotment of money that ensured you could live life any way you chose? What if everyone was born that way? Choosing how to live is vital, though, because when the money runs out so does your life. You can pursue a leisurely, quiet life and live for over 250 years, or you can truly live fast and die young.

No one has to earn a living because those who peak out (run out of money) become property of the government. They are processed then perform all the jobs that keep the society moving. Plus, every infraction costs money, and therefore years of life. The worst troublemakers peak out early so there is little crime.

When Andreas and Nadja discover their neighbor has peaked out, in spite of outward appearances indicating a frugal life, they begin to question their own lifestyle.

As more people unexpectedly peak out, Andreas and Nadja are determined to discover what is really going on. Their quest soon shows them the ugly underbelly and corruption of their seemingly perfect world and leads them to people who seem determined to destroy their society altogether.”

I’m proud to say that I reached 50,000 words on 11/21 although I couldn’t get an official count from NaNo until 11/25, at which point I’d reached 60,000. The novel is complete, albeit in second draft condition. (Because I met the challenge goal early I had time to do a full edit pass before the official count date.) The novel is now being edited and reviewed. I hope to have the final version finished and published by January 1.

NaNo was definitely a challenge. Life rarely allows writing 1667 words a day, which meant cranking out 5000 words a day several times. Was it worth it? You bet! It motivated and inspired me to write a story I’d dreamed up a decade earlier. And making such a daunting goal feels GREAT!

Here’s the draft cover, but as they say, Your Mileage May Vary. The title won’t change, but the cover might. It’s currently in the hands of a graphic artist.



  1. Tam Francis:

    Thanks for dragging me into the deep end too! It was great fun and I cannot believe I banged out a sequel to my novel The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress. It was tough, but awesome and I would do NaNoWriMo again. Thanks for pushing me in the pool!

    ~ Tam Francis ~


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