Strategies for Success: Go to Write Ins

It’s a few days into Nano, and you might be plugging along, or you might be struggling.  Might be a little bit of both.  But so many people find that having other wrimos around is a HUGE motivator to get those words out.

You’ve been to write ins, right?  Know how they work?

Check out the calendar; it will tell you what events are going on where and when.  There is a calendar on this site, and also in our regional forum. The regional forum also has a master list of write ins, AND a thread for each event.  Throw a rock at our space and you will hit information about write ins.

No write in by you?  Want there to be one?  Check the FAQ on this page, or the How to Plan a Write In thread on the forum for instructions.

So you’re going to the write in.  You’re at the coffee shop.  Or Panara.  Or library.  Whatever.  Now what?  First, find your people.  If there’s a leadership person at the event, they will have a blue lanyard and/or a blue T shirt that says Nanowrimotown.  Just look for the crowd of nerds with laptops.  Join those nerds.  Start socializing.  Start writing.  Write ins have word wars where you will battle for swag!  Great way to boost your word count.  People will be around to encourage you.  You can get buttons!  If you’re a tangible reward driven person, write ins are the thing for you.


We had our bake sale, and it was GREAT!

Leadership baked our collective butts off and spent all day packing stuff up and making it pretty.  Then, at the eleventh hour….it was canceled.

Ya see, what had happened was, we were booked at our contact’s church, and we were guaranteed to have the space, unless someone died, and they needed it for solemn things.  Well……

But that’s okay!  Because all the bounty got stuffed into the church’s freezer for safekeeping and emerged fresh as the proverbial daisy.

Owen, Conor and Erika set it all up this past Sunday, and it was a tremendous success!  We sold a lot of stuff, and even though there were fewer people than we thought might be there, and we had a lot left over, everyone was SO generous.

Some of the leftovers (the ones that will keep well) are being saved for nano events, so you’d better come to Midway and Kickoff if you want cake pops!  Some of it went to provide snacks for the church’s AA meeting.  And the rest went to an employee lounge at Karmanos Cancer Center to be gobbled up by hard-working nurses.

We brought in a grand total of $302!  $300 from the bake sale itself, and dollars from one of the nurses.

This money will get the region off to a GREAT start for fundraising.  We have more swag than ever before, more events than ever before, and I am more tired than ever before!

Big shout out to the non-leadership that contributed goodies:  David from Lansing, and Mary (Erika’s SIL who she bullied into joining this year.)  and also, ERIKA’S MOM!  Who made a whole ton of stuff.

We are trying a NEW fundraiser this year: a bake sale!  And you’re ALL invited to help out!  Not as customers (though you can come buy things, too,) but as bakers.  Turn on the oven, get out the butter and sugar, and help us fund the region!

How it works:  On Saturday, October 6, from 12pm-5pm, we will be collecting delicious contributions at various drop points throughout the region.  (Locations below.)  On Sunday, October 7, the East Side leadership will set up the goodies at our sales location (a church that has generously allowed us to book their space, for free, for both the sale and Boot Camp) and sell our little hearts out.  Easy peasy!

What Should I Bake?  Good ideas are:

  • Whole cakes, pies, tarts, cobblers, etc
  • Big fat cookies, brownies, lemon and pecan squares, other sorts of traybakes, etc
  • Breakfast pastries like jumbo muffins, scones, whole coffeecakes, pans of cinnamon rolls, etc.
  • Breads: whole loaves, bags of rolls, quickbreads like pumpkin, banana, etc
  • Your grandma’s super special something!

What’s not so good an idea?

  • Teeny tiny individual things (unless they’re bundled together in a package.)
  • Anything that needs refrigeration.
  • Cupcakes.  (people just never buy cupcakes.)
  • Anything store bought.

Things to Remember

  • Include a label or note with your offering of what it’s called.
  • Cut traybakes like brownies into large squares (like the size of a nano sticker!) rather than tiny squares.
  • You need to bring your offering in/on something, and you won’t get that dish back, so don’t bring your favorite baking pan.  Cake circles and disposable paper baking pans are available where baking supplies are sold, or a dollar store plastic plate can look very nice.

I want to help, but I can’t bake!

That’s okay!  Maybe someone can help you!  Do you have a mom or granny who’s the baker in the family?  A brother who went through culinary school you can trade some computer repair for help?  A friend or fellow Wrimo that brings the BEST stuff to potlucks?  Maybe you can buy the ingredients and learn a valuable skill in the process.

No, seriously, I will poison someone.  There will probably be fire.

If you really want to help out, you can bring cash money to the drop zones instead of a baked good.  We will be getting some ribbons and packaging and printing thank you notes and info cards, and a little cash will help cover those things.

Can I come to the bake sale?

Sure!  There’s an address for the church below.  The sale will be from 9am-1pm.  We just have to be sure to be courteous to the parishioners and not disrupt their space.


Thanks, everybody!  With any luck, we have the chance to get the region off to a great start for the year.   If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.  If you know what you’re going to make, feel free to post it below!  Others may use it for inspiration when deciding on their own offerings.


St Michael’s Episcopal Church

20475 Sunningdale Park, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236


Drop Zones

Her House
22111 Edmunton
St Clair Shores, Mi 48080

Bean and Leaf Café
Royal Oak

Mt Clemons

Her House

His House

Hi, everybody! Guess what time it is! It’s the beginning of the Nano planning season!

Holy cow, you say, it’s hardly August. You’re working on Nano already? Camp’s barely over. Well, that’s just how devoted leadership is to making Nano awesome for all of us. So, without further ado, here’s your 2018 Nanowrimotown Leadership, woooooo!

MLs Owen, Raine and Eric are all back, with a gazillion years of Nano between them, ready to work WAY too hard at being super awesome. (We don’t deserve you guys.)

Minions Beth, Erika, Conor, Alexis and Michelle have returned. Now introducing brand new minion, Laura! Laura is splendid and talented and we are lucky to have her.

So! What’s going on? Well, a lot of everything that is still in the very early stages, but there are a few bits and bobs to share.

Last year’s fundraising went very well, and we used the money to stock up on all kinds of supplies, like extension cords, button supplies, raffle tickets, and stickers for miles! We are discussing several different kinds of fundraising for this year, all aimed towards maximizing our ability to put on a great event while still respecting everyone’s pockets. So far, we’re looking at a change drive, several raffles, a return of the T Shirt, and…wait for it…Nanowrimotown Bake Sale! More on that to come.

We’re going to have a jam-packed schedule of events this year, including, but not limited to:
Game Night: a return of last year’s pre-nano event.
Kickoff WEEK: Starting with Game Night and ending with Kickoff, we have some extra fun in the works for your last week of sanity.
Kickoff: Lots of activities, including the third annual Kickoff Cookoff. Will you try to earn the Golden Spoon?
Midway: Everybody’s favorite all day writing potluck extravaganza.
Boot Camp: We had such a great time last year, we’re doing it again, bigger, better, and MORE WORD WARS!
One Last Push: Again, we don’t deserve Eric.
TGIO: Aaaaaand breathe.

Inter-regional Word War: We’re challenging Seattle to a rematch! We’re back, bigger, stronger, and wordier than ever before! Will they accept our challenge? Only time will tell…
InTRA-regional Word War: …wut? What’s that, you say? Welllll….you’re just going to have to wait for that, won’t you?

This year is going to be the Year of Swag! You love your swag, and we love designing it for you.** We have punchcards, we have badge ribbons, we have TWENTY NEW BUTTON DESIGNS! We are going to swag the heck outta you.

**Erika has unilaterally declared herself head of the Art Department. Nobody tried to stop her.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned to hear more as we keep working to pull it all together into another great Nano year.

We’re halfway there!  Who’s panicking?

Tomorrow’s Events:

Clinton Twp: 6:00-9:00

Are you coming to the Midway on Saturday?  Today may be the halfway point of the month, but the midway is THE MIDWAY.  Impress everyone with your tastiest potluck dish and rack up some words.  It’s also your LAST CHANCE to order a shirt this year.

There’s a new event planning thread in the forum for Nano Boot Camp.  We want to do a one day event that’s all word wars, all the time, with an intensity you’ve only ever dreamed of.  Head over there to voice your interest.

And now, beautiful people, let’s talk.  You’ve gotten a bunch of pep talks and encouraging posts and tweets so far.  Those are all very important and very true, and you should definitely take them to heart.  But here, at this halfway point, I’m going to talk about something else.  I’m going to talk about failure.

Don’t be afraid!  This is not a bad thing.  You see, at this point in the month, we’re all pretty much in one of three spots.  Either you’re on track and confidant, or you’re near the line and starting to worry, or you’re way below the line and in despair.  It’s you guys in that last group that I’m talking to, and I say unto you: do not despair.

You know how it goes.  You got busy at work or school.  You got sick.  Your computer died.  Your hamster is in the hospital.  You hate your story.  You love your story TOO MUCH.  Your muse is MIA.  Your hands fell off.  A literal bomb went off in your house and now you have to clean it all up before Thanksgiving.  You’re barricaded in your house by zombies and have to bike pedal the generator to charge your laptop.  For whatever reason, you are deeply, desperately behind, and all the encouraging pep talks in the world are not going to help you win.  It’s just not realistically possible for you to get to 50k this year.

Well, I’m here to tell you, That.  Is.  Okay.  You wanted to win, and now you will fail, and you are sad.  That is okay.  Failure is okay.

What you should NOT do is quit.  Don’t quit!  Never quit!  Keep going, keep writing.  So you won’t hit 50.  Can you hit 40?  30?  Can you strive to write at least a little bit every day, even if it’s only a few words?  Can you make it to some of the events and have a good time, even though you’re still not reaching the line?  As long as you stick it out, you win.  If you get even a sentence out of it that you like, you win.

Give yourself permission to fail.  Embrace the failure.  That way you can at least try to learn from it and relax and have a good time.  Because if you stress yourself out, you’re just going to be unhappy, and stressing out is not going to get your wordcount any higher.

I WANT you to succeed.  I WANT you to push yourself as hard as you can to get up to that line.  I want your progress bars to turn green an you to get that winner under your name.  I want that for you.  And you’d be surprised how far behind you can be and still reach down deep and pull out more words than you thought you had inside you and come up with a big win.  But if that’s not going to happen, and you know that you can’t make it happen, I want you to be okay with yourself.

Be okay.

Now, let’s get out there and make the second half of the month even better than the first.

Here we are at the Royal Oak writein, and the current total is at about 18!  Erika and Alexis are running the mainland section of the Bean and Leave, while Owen is the Governor of The Colony.  Many thousands have been written tonight!

Our region is at over 7 million words!

Some of the leadership’s choices are up in the resources section.  If you’re looking for some interesting tools or tricks, head over there and take a look!

Tomorrow’s Events:

6:00-8:00 Commerce

6:00-7:00 Detroit

Hey, where did that weekend go?

Events today:

1:30-5:00 Farmington

7:00-9:00 Allen Park


If you want a shirt, you have until the Midway to place your order

Regional stats: 6.7 million words is nothing to sneeze at!  We’re also up to 10 shirt orders, and about $100 in cash donations.  You guys are great.

Seattle is increasing their lead day by day.  We need everyone to dig down deep and pull that extra thousand words out kicking and screaming!  We still have a chance to do this!

Today’s Events:

Clinton Twp 6:00-9:00

Troy 7:00-9:00

Regional Stats: We’re just about to hit 5 million words.  Go us!

If you want to get a shirt, you can use paypal, or give cash to any leadership at any event.  You’ll get a stamp for your punchcard, too!

We had TWENTY FIVE people at the Royal Oak writein last night!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a writein more densely populated.  And together, we wrote THOUSANDS of words.  Go us!

Today’s Events:

Commerce 6:00-8:00

Detroit 6:00-7:00

Regional Stats:  As of late Tuesday night, we have written over 4 million words.  We also cut Seattle’s lead down by over a hundred words since Monday night!  Now, they have always been starting the days ahead of us, so chances are that lead will be back up tomorrow, but we will be in a better place to bring it down further!

The end of week one.  So how are you doing?  Are you riding high and way ahead after those first days when everything is new and exciting and motivated?  Keep it up!  Week two CAN be the hardest time to keep that motivation going.  Are you lagging and frustrated? (I am!) That’s okay.  This year, your story is going to be Week II: Redemption.

Today’s Events:

6:00-9:00 Royal Oak

7:00-8:45 Farmington Hills

Regional Stats: Over 3.5 million words!  Go us.  Did you know that the Detroit region historically has a higher win percentage than Nano as a whole?  You’re already set up for success!

We have also sent over $2k to headquarters this year, and that’s no small feat!  Good job, everybody.  We’ve also been collecting your generous dollars and dimes bit by bit at events, and we should have the most recent total up soon.  Thank you.  Thank you so hard.

If you haven’t ordered your T shirt yet, now is the time!  There’s an order form in the forum in this thread:

Finally, Seattle is still waaaay ahead of us, but that does not mean it is time to give up hope!  Nay, it is time to buck down!  Use the second week slump to our advantage!  We know we’re going to get a big boost from Midway, but we can’t count on that, nosirree.  We want to trim that lead TODAY!