Cheering on the Wrimos from the Sidelines by Annmarie Miles

The Long & The Short of it by Annmarie MilesLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Annmarie Miles as she shares with us about “Cheering on the Wrimos from the Sidelines.” Enjoy!


I took the decision not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’m so far behind with other writing projects; I could not contemplate starting something new. However I did enjoy the last couple of years and learned a lot from it. Hopefully for next November I’ll be ready to try it again.

I want to give a hearty shout out to those who have taken up the challenge and are typing/scribbling furiously over these weeks.

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month (an international project these days) happens each November. You write like the wind with a goal of 50,000 words. At the very least, you end up with a massive manuscript of raw material, from which a novel or other work hopefully emerges.

It’s not for the feint hearted, but it’s a whole bunch of fun; and there is a massive online community to help you on your way.

So here are my top ten tips for the Wrimos out there:

  1. Do you need to have ‘the conversation’? Be sure to tell your loved ones and those who are wondering where you’ve disappeared to, why this time is important to you.
  1. If your internal editor is anywhere to be found, show them the door. This is no time for checking the exact date that the Eiffel Tower was built, or what the name of the airport in Honolulu is. ( It’s actually called Honolulu International Airport btw 🙂 )
  1. To help with the above, I used a code which enabled me to keep going and find key passages quickly later on. I had a system whereby if I knew I had to research a certain scene or incident I would leave *** by it and I’d search for those markers later. <<< meant the conversation/dialogue needed to continue and ### meant that I had to check a potential timeline error.
  1. If you’re behind target, just keep going. It’s easy to be discouraged when you look at the graph and it’s not climbing like it should. Keep your fingers on those keys and get the story on to the page.
  1. If you’re ahead of the game, don’t get complacent. Momentum is essential for NaNo! By all means take a breath, but don’t kick back and log into Pinterest for 10 minutes, you may not surface for a week.
  1. Speaking of Pinterest, and all things social media, be careful! I found Twitter a great help. Follow #NaNoWriMo2015 and you’ll find all sorts advice and encouragement to get your word count up. What you don’t want is to spend so much time talking and tweeting about your WIP, that you’re not getting anything written.
  1. If you are at the end of the story, then let the story end. Once it’s told, it’s told. I fought the ending of one of my stories for ages. When I finally realised it was over, I went back and found a place to bring a brand new character in. A whole new sub plot opened up; and only made my ending richer.
  1. It’s November! So in this hemisphere at least, it’s time to break out the hot chocolate and warm cookies. Or maybe you like a cup of steaming tea and some toast with jam. If you’re in a hot climate then it’s time for cool drinks or some ice cream. Either way, stock up on the treats – they’ll keep you going.
  1. Don’t fight against it, don’t get bogged down under it, don’t stress over it. Just enjoy it.
  1. Did I promise you a tenth one? Oh don’t listen to me… go and write something!



Annmarie MilesAnnmarie Miles, part time writer, full time believer is 40something, Irish, Christian, married, and proud to be all of those things. She loves words, music & chocolate! You can find out all about her and her book The Long & The Short of It.

Where to find Annmarie:

Facebook page:
Google+: auntyamo
Twitter: @amowriting
Personal Blog:
Writing Blog:


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