NaNo NaNo Like Mork from Ork #NaNoWriMo

You remember Mork and Mindy, right? Starring Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, and Robin Williams? He gets two credits, because he was all over the place.

I’m not doing NaNo this year (at least, I don’t plan to, but you never know), but I’m always ready to jump on the unsolicited advice bandwagon. has a post, for example, called 41 Insider Tips for Winning NaNoWriMo. I didn’t find it entirely helpful or, indeed, appropriate (calm down, I don’t mean “inappropriate” in the fun sense). Your mileage may vary.

Here are five tips that helped me, the years I did (and “won”) NaNo. They are, I believe, rather Morkian.

Be somewhere different.

I sat in a different place, in a different room. I even used a laptop, when I usually worked on my desktop. Since I usually use my laptop now, I guess I would have to NaNo at my desktop now.

Wear something special

I would get up and go straight to my NaNo station, in pajamas and fluffy robe. I usually dress as soon as I get up, but not during NaNo. If I NaNo’d at a coffee house, I’d get dressed, more than likely, but I’d have a special hat or scarf or necklace or set of shirts especially for the month.

Remember that NaNoWriMo is a magic word

If you tell people, “I’m writing,” they’ll be all, “Well, just do this and then you can get back to it.” If you tell people, “I’m doing NaNoWriMo,” they’re all, “Oh! I’m sorry. Okay. Let me know when you have your words done. This can wait.” I’m serious; it’s crazy. Take full advantage.

Don’t be afraid to free associate.

You can have one of your characters go off on a rant. You can take the rant out of the final draft, after NaNo is over, but the rant could serve two purposes: it’s words toward your word count, and it might tell you something useful about your character and about the characters subjected to or witnessing the rant. NaNo can be about exploring as well as constructing.

Don’t let it buffalo you.

Do you say that, where you live? Some people use it to mean confused or stumped, but around here, it also means stopped by intimidation or awe. Like this line from The Wizard of Oz: Listen Kid, are you going to let that Old Gulch heifer try and buffalo you?

Nah, NaNo, you ain’t no thang. It’s only fewer than 2000 words a day. Not NaNo’s words, not somebody else’s words, just your words. You have more than 2000 words a day in you. Way more. If you get stuck, use your words to write about what’s sticking you, what you want to happen in the story, why the characters aren’t cooperating. Maybe the characters (i.e. your subconscious) will stick their two cents’ worth in and get you back on track.


If you’re doing NaNo, I wish you the best of British luck. (Why British luck should be luckier than any other nationality’s luck, I don’t know, but it seems to be so, idiomatically, at least.) If you aren’t doing NaNo, bear with all the folks who are doing it. Be encouraging but don’t nag.

Don’t be a nimnul. Shazbat.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: A character is on a deadline.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “NaNo NaNo Like Mork from Ork #NaNoWriMo

  1. joey

    October 30, 2017 at 7:04am

    Hah! I’m also skippin the NaNo this year, but I agree, people are more considerate of NaNo’ers.

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      • joey

        October 30, 2017 at 6:55pm

        Prolly not. Then it wouldn’t be special.

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  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    October 30, 2017 at 6:53pm

    If I could write 50,000 words in November, NETHERWORLD would be half-finished.

    It’s a goal I’d like to have, but honestly, Life has been lobbing hand grenades faster than usual.

    I didn’t write today – my car got new brakes. I didn’t know I needed them until last Thursday (though there were rumblings and squealings), and I panic when I don’t have good brakes – so it had to be today.

    I can do one thing a day, and leave the house twice a week at best. I did TWO leavings today. Sigh.

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      Marian Allen

      October 30, 2017 at 6:57pm

      I hear ALL of that! I’ve been peopling all weekend, and I’m about ready to rumble and squeal myself. You just keep on conserving as much of yourself as you can manage, and let those words come out when and how they best can. You’re worth waiting for.

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  3. Deborah

    October 30, 2017 at 11:19pm

    I remember that show, and watched. Robin Williams was brilliant. I haven’t got the faintest idea of what else you’re talking about, but I’ll be patient and wait for you to pop up again! 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 31, 2017 at 9:01am

      NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month, wherein one accepts the goal of writing at least 50,000 words. NaNo is November, though there’s now a summer one, too.

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