Quiet please. Writers at work.

Allison Tait blog
Posted on November 1, 2012

It’s that time of year again. The first of November marks that day on the calendar when hundreds of thousands of writers around the globe vow that this year will be different. This will be the year when they will ‘win’. This will be the year that they will bash out 50,000 words in a month. This will be their year of NaNoWriMo.

This is my third attempt at NaNo. I have never won. I am okay with that. Each time I’ve done it in the past, I’ve walked away with about 15,000 words and a good idea. Both of those ideas have become full manuscripts in the fullness of time. One will be published next year. One will (hopefully) be published in the future.

I look at it this way: even if I only finish with 15,000 words, they’re 15,000 words that I didn’t have on October 31. It is a great starting point, no matter which way you look at it.

This year, I am trying something new. Children’s fiction. It’s a whole new world for me and will no doubt be a steep learning curve. It’s seriously good fun though. So far. Talk to me about in on November 17.

Mr8 is also writing a book (those are his words in the picture – he puts as much effort into those little swords that mark scene breaks as he does into the story). I love that we can sit down together and discuss our work. He knows nothing of NaNoWriMo, or winning or whathaveyou. He just really loves to write.

We could probably all take a leaf out of that book.


  1. rachelsbooknook

    I’ve only just recently heard of NaNoWriMo from another blog I follow but now, after reading your blog and all the comments I can see that it is a very popular competition. Good luck with reaching your 50 000 word goal, although,no matter how many words you write it’s still a massive achievement.

  2. Beverly

    Good luck with your word count. I am doing my 4th NaNoWriMo and love it. My first attempt was four years ago and I did manage my 50 000 words. The best part however, was that just 2 months ago the words that I wrote then, became a published novel.

    Hang in there and if you need someone to share your successes with, let me know and I will cheer you on.

  3. ♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys

    Good luck , I am sure it is going to be a fabulous book.
    I am in awe of the NaNoWriMo writers.

  4. Emily

    Love your perspective – that whatever you have at the end of the month is more than you have now. Chookas in hitting the magical 50k!

  5. amyknapp.ca

    I don’t know much about NaNoWriMo but I’m totally amazed people do this. Good for you. Look forward to reading updates about your children’s novel. May I ask home much time it takes out of your day to do the required writing?

    • allison tait

      Hi Amy, it’s different for everyone, but I average around 1000 words an hour with this type of first-draft writing – assuming that the story is going well and I have an idea of what will happen next. There can be long periods of ‘thinking time’ with my style of writing.

  6. Lipgloss Mumma

    I love the simplicity of children. I need to remember this as the months goes on! I actually got over 2,000 words down today so off to a good start. It’s inspiring to know that two of your 15,000 achievements have blossomed into real manuscripts! #NE NaNoWriMo for me x

  7. Cath

    I’m so hoping the Munchkin discovers the wonders of writing – esp. if marked by little swords. His stories are so wonderful. Best of luck on your quest!

  8. Amanda Kendle

    Good luck Al! I’m doing my first post-child NaNo (have done two before, one successfully). I very much like your attitude. Also your relaxed approach to plotting. I actually began a spreadsheet for this one (some months back) a la Kylie Ladd but it is still blank because heck, who has time to actually do stuff like that?! I will continue my random ways after all knowing that I’m not in bad company at all.

  9. Sif Dal

    Looks like one of his characters has my son’s name – even spelled correctly! Must be a great book! Am doing Nano this year again. Didn’t win last year, but hoping to do so this year – or at least come away with more words (only managed 3000 last year).

  10. Kirsty

    Good luck! I’m trying NaNo for the first time this year and it’s inspiring to read that your previous NaNos were so productive!

  11. Donna

    Best of luck with it Al, I’ll see you out there on the writing super highway x

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