NaNoWriMo – Week Two – The Art of Catch Up by Grace Tierney

Haven’t started yet? Way behind on word-count?

Me too. Which is why I tried all the Nano Tricks this week.

  1. I went to the Write-In

This is an in-person meeting of writers from the same region where we sit around, chat a little, and write a lot. It’s like a date with your novel. The Nano statistics elves claim attending write-ins massively increases your chances of writing 50,000 words.

It worked. I clocked up 1,240 words, handwritten. I discovered everybody else has already scoffed the chocolate I put in our kick-off-kits for consumption after passing 50,000 words. I met a twelve year old who’s writing a novel. She’s marginally too young for official Nano (participants must be 13+ to register) but she made me jealous of her amazing plot and writing confidence.

  1. I followed my own advice

I finished my target word count before writing this blog post, because just for November, novel-writing comes first.

  1. I promised myself a prize

There are a few perks of “winning” Nano. The one I like the best, apart from the amazing feeling of having done it, is the Createspace offer. This American print-on-demand company print a copy of your book, privately, for you to have on your shelf as proof of this crazy adventure. This year they will charge postage, but they are giving five copies which is just enough for my two kids, my two godsons, and one for my shelf. Perfect Christmas gifts. It’s not limited to your Nano novel or to 50,000 words. It could be your self-published poetry collection, a double-spaced draft copy for you to edit on, or simply one to lend to people who don’t “get” this novel thing. Writers in my region have done all of the above.

  1. I joined The All Ireland Word War

The provincial team with the highest average word count wins. Writing – a team sport. Who would have predicted that?

  1. I fell in love with some characters, a wild pony, and an evil Garda

In my story, I mean! My outline is filling up. The story is starting to take over. Ideas are popping into my head at odd moments. This is the power of writing every day.

  1. I challenged other writers to race me via the forums

I wrote 5,940 words today. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. But now, finally, I’m on target with 15,000 words so far. This is priceless.

Week two is when many writers quit Nano. Halfway is so distant. All I can say is that week three rocks. You’ll be on the downhill slope. Just slog on through week two. It gets easier, honest.

Grace Tierney ( writes in Meath. Her work has been published internationally in print and online. She is the Ireland North East organiser for Nano ( and actually enjoys the challenge of writing 50,000 words in just one month. After Nano 2011 she will complete her second chick-lit novel. She blogs on unusual words at

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