Not even bad Tofurkey will stop you NaNoWriMo writers!

imageLet’s be honest: No one is going to read this.


Because everyone is busy working on their novel this month! Who has time to read a blog post — even if it’s about writing — when they have 30,000 words remaining in their 50,000-word manuscript, no to mention a 30-lb. Thanksgiving turkey already thawing in the sink?

Plus, in just a few weeks, many NaNoWriMo participants will be following up their day of giving “thanks” by attacking fellow shoppers on Black Friday for the last pair of “Walking Dead” slippers! What if their fingers get broken during a tussle at Target? Or they get walloped at Walmart? Mauled at Macy’s? Shanked at Sears? Body slammed at Bloomingdales?

You get the idea.

Even though it’s less than a week into NaNoWriMo, a lot of writers are feeling the pressure to finish their manuscripts before Nov. 24 because anything can happen once Thanksgiving Day arrives. No one wants to take the chance of being within 500 words of finishing their manuscript, only to have it consumed in a sudden turkey flashover fire thanks to the combustable nature of aunt Renee’s new whiskey stuffing recipe. 

And even supposing a writer and their manuscript make it through the holiday unscathed, there’s still Black Friday to get through. Will they make it back safely? Will they make it back without emotional scarring? Will they make it back at ALL? If not, will their family be taken care of?

Or more importantly, will there be a ghost writer available to finish their manuscript in before Nov. 30?!?!

Even for writers who have no plan to venture out from their bunker during the zombie apocalypse The Purge Black Friday shopping, there’s still the effects of turkey tryptophan to deal with. Those reserves will be coursing through their veins and can cause drowsiness for as many as three days. And that’s even if they aren’t watching bowling on TV!

“But we’re having Tofurky, so I won’t have to worry about getting sleepy.”

That may be true. And for which I am very sorry. But keep in mind you can only spend so much time writing while on the commode.

So what does all of this mean?

It means, before they know it, NaNoWriMo writers will soon be approaching the halfway point of their writing marathon. That’s when their literary legs will feel like they have small children attached. And who knows? That may actually be true in some cases, especially if you write from home between laundry loads. Whatever the case, on behalf of those of us who AREN’T participating in NaNoWriMo (It’s official; we took a vote), we’d just like to offer our support and cheer you on!

Especially those who might have to stop and, right in the middle of it all, move to Canada next Wednesday.

However, the fact that you’ve embarked on this literary journey is proof that no amount of tryptophan or even an exploding turkey (possibly as early as Nov. 8) is going to keep you from clearing the final hurdle before midnight on Nov. 30.

So be proud! Pat yourself on the back! Reflect on your achievement so far!

HEY! Not NOW! There’s no time!

By the way [WARNING: shameless plug ahead!], if you need a little extra inspiration during the hump period (I know how that sounds but stay with me), my latest book, Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, is a mixture of insights, tips and inspiration gathered from nearly two decades as a columnist and writer.  In short: I wrote it for writers, for times just like these.

It’s only 97 pages, but as humorist and screenwriter Randall Willis said in his review, “It’s quite possibly the best 97 pages I have ever read in my waking moments…”

Or something like that.

If you’d like your own signed copy, click on the image below and write “signed copy” in the special request box. I can even sign someone else’s name if you like!

Randall Willis reacts to my book (or possibly something he ate)



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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

43 thoughts on “Not even bad Tofurkey will stop you NaNoWriMo writers!”

  1. Two technical questions:
    1. I fell miserably short last year… is it okay to start with what I started last year?
    2. When exactly is the “hump period”? I want to give my husband adequate notice.


  2. I wrote about Canadian Black Friday last year (yes, consumer sheep tried to make it a thing). It’s not a thing! But my experience was terrifying, not because it was busy or cutthroat, but because we were trapped in the store with a Stage 5 Clinger Sales rep. I’m feeling a panic attack coming on just reliving it. Come to think of it, the idea of tofurkey isn’t sitting too well either…

    1. Just make sure you don’t eat any Tofurkey before going shopping. Between being trapped, a panic attack and Tofurkey making its way through your system, Black Friday could take on a whole new meaning.

  3. 1. I am not even attempting NaNoWriMo
    2. I don’t do shopping on Black Friday
    3. I done bought one of your books with your awesome personal autograph!
    So I’m set! :-* ❤

    1. 1) I’ve never done NaNoWriMo because, for all intents and purposes, I’m too lazy.

      2) I did Black Friday shopping. Once. Just like I stuck a 9-volt battery to my braces. Once.

      3) I remember signing that one! I hope you enjoy it — and thanks, Courtney 😉

  4. Loved this, Ned! Thank you for your encouragement and turkey dos and don’ts.
    As I’d shared before, my plan was to read from your book each morning before starting. Day 3 = 6500 words!

    Confession: Day 1 started on the road in Omaha, NE and today I can NOT find your book anywhere. I fear that it’s still in my hotel room. Hopefully the maid gives me a call when she finds it. OR..perhaps, she is participating in NaNoWriMo and she can benefit from it as well.
    Either way, I’m going to keep looking through my bags – it’s gotta be somewhere.

    Perhaps a certain monk stole it…I didn’t read anything in their vows about thievery 😉

    1. Wow! That’s a fantastic start! (The word count I mean, not losing the book). I suppose if we read about a breakthrough novel climbing the NYT Bestseller list, and how it was written by a maid in Omaha, we’ll know where the book ended up! Haha! I guess the same could be said for a certain monk as well 😉

      Keep up the great work, Michelle, and let me know if you need me to call and read a chapter over the phone each day instead!

  5. I thought a ghostwriter always appears when a writer is violently and unexpectedly killed and there was some unfinished business (namely, a NaNoWriMo manuscript just 300 words in). The ghostwriter then gets representation by a sassy black literary agent who moonlights as a psychic, and then for some reason gets into pottery.
    Ummm, maybe I should Google what “ghostwriter” really means…

  6. You do have a point, Ned. I too am running a marathon each day cause want to be finished by november 24th and then be able to celebrate my b’day and the victory of 50k on november 30th!!

    Being a vegetarian…tofu sounds delish 🙂

  7. I’ve never actually had tofurkey simply because the idea of eating a key covered in toe fur sounds *blech* just gross. That has no nutritional value. None.

  8. Everyone’s writing but me, you mean!
    Have a new book spinning around my head but even though I took this week off to write, I’ve been sidelined by the flu and a dental issue from hell!
    I may send you the first chapter someday soon, Ned, just to see if I’m on a path worth pursuing.

  9. No NaNo for me this year. Just when I found time to write on the regular again I signed up for a 15K run. And found a handsome man. Plus kids. Plus pretending to work… Ah, the joys of life. It’s not like there won’t be a November again next year. Assuming I survive running 9.3 miles through alligator territory next month.

    1. That all sounds like a great reason to skip NaNoWriMo this year. And as for that run, having alligators chasing you should be good motivation for clocking a great time, Melanie! 😉

      1. They say the alligators will be scared away by all the noise. Ha! I plan to break some world records just in case they’re wrong about that.

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