30 October 2014

NaNoWriMo vs DigiWriMo

It's that time of year again, and a lot of people have been asking me lately whether I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those unfamiliar with this challenge, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, happens every November (and now in other 30-day months as well), and the challenge is to write 50,000 words of the same story in 30 days. I've never done NaNoWriMo because I haven't had an idea for a novel or one that I was ready to work on come November.

But I have done DigiWriMo, which was started a couple years ago by an ex-colleague of mine, Jesse Stommel, and his colleague, Sean Michael Morris. DigiWriMo is another writing challenge that's run in November, and it too involves writing 50,000 words in 30 days. The main difference is that with DigiWriMo, the focus is on digital writing rather than on a novel. You don't have to write 50K words of the same story; you just have to write 50K words digitally. That can include words typed into emails, blog posts, Twitter and Facebook interactions, digital slides, word processing documents, etc. I imagine it can also include words spoken into digital recorders and voice-overs for digital stories...things like that. Any words you compose and store digitally.

This year I have a couple novels I'm working on for my pseudonym, but one of them has fewer than 50K words to go, and the other is going to take more research before I'm ready to start writing. What I'm working on - as I've mentioned in my other ROW80 updates this round - are various short stories and nonfiction pieces. I'm also making small progress on one of the novels, but it doesn't feel mentally healthy to me at this time to focus solely on the novel for the sake of getting it done. I need variety. I need expansiveness.

Once again, NaNoWriMo isn't quite right for me this year, but I think DigiWriMo can provide a good kick in the pants: I've been moving slowly lately, and I think I can move faster if I have the motivation to turn off the editor. DigiWriMo and the challenge to write 50,000 new words this coming month is that motivation.

Which brings me to this week's ROW80 update:

"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."  

Show up to writing 2-3 hours/day. Not so much. I've been showing up to writing every day, but I haven't been very good at putting butt in chair for an extended period of time. Now that I've decided to do DigiWriMo, I want/need to write 1,667 words per day (which is 50K divided by 30 days), and I have specific projects I've decided to work on, mostly short stories but also some creative nonfiction. I feel like I have a solid game plan and look forward to seeing what comes out of it.

Be an active ROW80 sponsor. On track.

Read for fun. On track. I started reading Dishwasher and the Theory of Social Unification by Michael Dal Hornsby, a local author whom I saw read a couple of weeks ago at Rain or Shine. It's an interesting book with promise, but it hasn't sucked me in yet. I also broke down and went to the library, where I checked out the next book Hobbs's Farseer trilogy, Royal Assassin. So far it's a wee bit rougher than the first book, but I'm far too attached to the main character to let that hinder me. I also finally bought Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know; you all read it ages ago. I'm catching up. Just in time for the movie to come out in November, too! Am a bit bummed that they've split this last book up into 2 movies, but I hope it'll be worth it. (Also can I just mention here how excited I am for the extended version of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming out on Nov. 4?! I just hope the extra footage isn't of the barrel-riding escape from the elves. *shudder* It was too long already, imho.)
Continue posting twice a week on this blog. Posted once. Again. However, I've decided to keep this goal and to start a guest blogger series on the topic of success as a writer. With any luck I'll have my first guest post up this weekend.  

Would you like to write a guest post for my blog on how you define success for yourself as a writer? I'm interested in a variety of perspectives, from people who write just for themselves to authors who've published multiple works. Email me and we'll talk!

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80 participants' mid-week check-ins.


  1. DigiWriMo sounds interesting. I don't think I'll join you, at least this year, but I'll keep it in mind for next year.

    I think you'll like Mockingjay. It's a little different from the other two books, but it wraps the trilogy well.

    1. Thanks for stopping by to read & comment, John. DigiWriMo *is* interesting. The first year, on the last day, we tried to co-write a 50K-word novel in one day. There were a bunch of us working on it. It was super fun. Maybe see you in it next year! Good luck with NaNo.

  2. It's great to have a solid plan, and it seems you're flexible in your approach, which is always a good thing :-) Good luck with the guest posts - it sounds like fun.

    1. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to the conversation about how we define success as writers.