50,000 Words Later: Farewell, NaNoWriMo 2013

50,000 Words Later: Farewell, NaNoWriMo 2013

A few days ago on this blog, Cheri took a look at this year’s successful National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), the month-long event during which bloggers write a new post every day. The end of November also signaled the finish line of the the granddaddy of all writing challenges, National Novel Writing Month.

This year, 311,575 writers set out to produce a 50,000-word novel in the course of a month. A healthy chunk of those word-marathoners also keep a blog or an author’s site here on WordPress.com. In honor of their labor (and the insane amount of coffee they’ve consumed over the past 30 days), let’s take a look at some of their hard-earned wisdom from the fiction-writing trenches.

NaNoWriMo 2013 Winner Badge (courtesy of winner words-pictures-music)

NaNoWriMo 2013 Winner Badge (courtesy of challenge winner words-pictures-music)

The thrill of sharing stories

NaNo projects come in all shades of the storytelling spectrum — from dark horror tales to uplifting narratives of redemption. The challenge brings together first-timers and published authorsteenagers and retirees, who form strong bonds over their shared, sleep-deprived writing slog. Jackie Dana — WordPress.com Happiness Engineer by day, speculative-fiction author by night — had this to say about NaNo’s sense of camaraderie, having just finished her first challenge with more than 70,000 words:

You […] revel in the fact that everyone is going through the same hell at the same time, that endless cycle of writing just one more word, but also understand those moments of ecstasy when you get a chapter just right.

These bonds extended into writers’ WordPress.com blogs, too — astonishingly, challenge participants have found the time to write nearly 10,000 posts about NaNoWriMo while trying to meet exacting word-count targets.

Image by mpclemens (CC BY 2.0)

Image by mpclemens (CC BY 2.0)

Some may have been encouraged by the example of famous authors meeting strict deadlines, as collected by a literary historian cheering on from the sidelines. Others were fortified by the memory of past odysseys, like finishing a Ph.D. dissertation, or the necessity of carving out time to write while raising a small baby.

Building on success — whatever the word-count

Those who made it into December with 50,000 words or more share an overall sense of joy (gifs, anyone?). Many have already started to think about what’s next, whether it’s editing their work or considering publication options (if you’re one of those, do check out these helpful tips by a panel of seasoned NaNo authors). All over WordPress.com, badge winners are analyzing their process of writing and offering helpful insights for those who might be interested in participating next year. Mostly, they are satisfied and exhausted:

“I am proud of myself for not giving up — because there were days when I really wanted to.”

Stacy’s Writing Rules

Among the most interesting and inspiring perspectives are those of the writers who didn’t finish their project, whether their final tally was 1,14614,47422,033, or 30,000 words. Participating in a challenge like NaNoWriMo is an incredible experience because it pushes even the busiest procrastinators to make a commitment, to hone their craft, and to find their voice. As one writer-blogger puts it, having written “just” 37,735 words:

For me, it’s not about the 50K so much as the rejuvenation of my writing mind and soul, the cultivation of the habits that help me get the work done, and the increased output that is still a huge leap for me, even if I don’t “win.”

Gwen Hernandez, The Edited Life

The next eleven months

Now that the challenge is over, it’s important not to let the momentum dissipate into a holiday lull. Whether you want to finish your manuscript, polish it, start a new project, or devote more time to your blog, there are many things you can do to keep yourself focused on your writing.

Use your blog for feedback. As many a NaNo graduate knows, posting excerpts of your work on your WordPress.com blog is a great way to invite constructive criticism from the community. You can expand your readership and invite your friends to chime in by connecting your blog to your social networks.

Make the most of The Daily Post community. You can be even more proactive about soliciting feedback by participating in the weekly Community Pool, where bloggers are invited to share links to their work, whatever stage of progress it is in. With posts on all things craft-related, from writing andgrammar tips to tools for longform writers, your quills are sure to remain sharpened. And don’t forget our weekly writing challenges, which often feature fiction-friendly topics.

Take advantage of NaNoWriMo’s resources for writers. The lively community that comes together every November doesn’t disappear on December 1st. Check out the NaNo forums, whether it’s for feedback or advice on editing and publishing.

Congratulations to all WordPress.com NaNoWriMo participants — you’re an inspiration to us all!



Microsoft Surface – Fairly Compromised Confusing Product, Says Chief Exec of Apple.


 Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, does not believe that Microsoft Corp.’s Surface could pose a threat for iPad as it is full of compromises and will not provide user experience comparable to Apple’s slate.


“I have not personally played with the Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it is a fairly compromised confusing product, and so I think one of the toughest things you do with deciding which product is to make hard trade off and decide what a product should be and we have really done that with the iPad, and so the user experience is absolutely incredible, I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I do not think it would do all of those things very well,” said Tim Cool, chief executive officer of Apple, during a conference call with financial analysts.


Microsoft developed own-brand Surface tablet not only to compete against Apple iPad and push its Windows RT operating system onto the market, but also to create a reference design for other hardware manufacturers to follow. But Microsoft Surface with Windows RT does have a number of drawbacks, such as low-resolution screen, narrow choice of software and some other.


China Mobile’s New 4G Network a Bonus for Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm


Carrier China Mobile is set to launch the first 4G LTE network in China on Dec. 18, a development that likely will serve as a bonanza for mobile heavyweights Apple(AAPL), Samsung andQualcomm (QCOM) and perhaps provide a boost to Lenovo‘s smartphones.


China Mobile, which said last spring it would devote some $30.1 billion to build out a TD-LTE 4G mobile telecommunications network for its 750 million subscribers, stands to benefit from selling Apple’s newest iPhones as well as handsets from other mobile device manufacturers. The same goes for Apple as it now can bank on China Mobile to help cut into Samsung’s unit sales lead in China.


China’s two other carriers, China Unicom and China Telecom, will follow with 4G networks, according to Xinhua, the Chinese government’s state run press agency, which said the advanced telecommunications network will be available initially in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongquing.


“China will start commercial 4G mobile communications services on Dec. 18, bringing the most advanced telecommunications technology to the country’s more than 1 billion mobile users,” Xinhua said.


The city of Shanghai is building out its own 4G network, which will be ready sometime after China Mobile’s, according to the Chinese press agency.


Xinhua referenced Li Yue, China Mobile’s president, who predicted the 4G phone will do well in mainland China, particularly with lower-cost units priced below 1,000 yuan, or $162, slated to appear on the market in the second half of 2014.


In September, a Chinese regulator approved Apple’s iPhone to operate on China Mobile’s proprietary mobile network, clearing the way for the huge Chinese carrier to sell the iPhone for the first time after years of negotiations between the two companies. The Chinese regulator also granted licenses to China Unicom and China Telecom, which means all three Chinese carriers gained authority to offer the iPhone on their mobile networks.


Specifically, Apple was supplied with a “network access license” for an iPhone-like handset that runs on China Mobile’s 3G and 4G mobile network services.


Nearly a year ago, Apple chief Tim Cook and China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua begandiscussing “matters of cooperation.” Prior talks between the two companies reportedly have snagged on revenue-sharing issues (China Mobile is said to want a piece of sales generated by Apple’s App Store from the carrier’s customers) and on a technical issue—China Mobile was using a TD-SCDMA network incompatible with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5—although that hurdle now has been overcome.


Apple is expected to introduce iPhones supporting China Mobile’s 4G network timed to the official launch date, Xinhua reported.