NaNoWriMo 2018 Underway!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to participate in the 2018 edition of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun, goal-oriented, community approach to creative writing. Writers often gather together in coffee shops, meeting halls, and other spots to work on their individual works in progress. The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. While people aren’t collaborating on each other’s work, they are supportive and encouraging of fellow participants. To write 50,000 words in 30 days means averaging nearly 1700 words per day. No small challenge, but doable. While a 50,000-word novel doesn’t sound like a big book, it’s worth noting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby” is about 50,000 words. Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five”, and Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” are under 50,000 words. A novel 50,000 words in length translates to an average of about 175 pages. Given the many things vying for our attention and our shorter attention spans, shorter novels may prove to be just the cure to Make America Read Again.

Novels About 50,000 Words in Length, More or Less

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (46,333 words)
  • The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (52,000 words)
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (50,776 words)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (50,061 words)
  • The Apostle Paul’s Epistles from the Bible (43,293 words. 50,190 if you count Hebrews.)
  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton
  • Shattered by Dean Koontz
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  • Gadsby: A Story of Over 50,000 Words Without Using the Letter “E” by Ernest Vincent Wright
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (56,695 words)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (43,617 words)
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (46,591 words)
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles (56,787 words)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (46,118 words)


I am happy to report that my first few days in this year’s “competition” have been fruitful and successful. I’m producing at a clip slightly higher than the necessary 1,667 words per day average, which is extremely encouraging. While I initially tried to plan out my novel, I’ve succumbed to writing it as I go. This actually seems more creative to me—like painting a picture from scratch, simply sitting down in front of the canvas and seeing where the brushes and colors take you. Sure, I have a basic plot in mind and at least a partial idea of how it all ends. In the days ahead, I look forward to seeing how my “word art” turns out.

I’m thankful for my bride, Sweet T, who has been so extremely supportive of this venture. I’m also grateful for a couple of my friends who I have dared to share my goal with over a cup of coffee or a good meal.

Happy Writing!

The Devotional Guy™

#NaNoWriMo #WGT 



Wednesday Writers Pad | NaNoWriMo 2018

After much contemplation, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2018. I’m excited about being one of the thousands (millions?) writing their novel in November. The goal is to crank out 50K words between November 1 and November 30. That averages out to 1,667 words a day. Of course, 50,000 words doesn’t exactly a novel make but it certainly is a healthy start. 

My primary impetus for taking part in NaNoWriMo this year is getting that novel idea out of my head and onto paper—well, in my case–on my laptop. 

October is known as #preptober, a time to get ready for the upcoming word joust next month. I’ve found some interesting YouTube videos on NaNoWriMo and PrepTober that discuss different aspects of this annual, internet-based, creative writing project. 

NaNoWriMo 2018 blog post

I know that October is the month to plan so that in November I can focus on hammering out a daunting 50,000 words. I’ve learned keeping a notebook is helpful, as is doing my research now rather than waiting until November. I’ve also discovered that it is helpful to plan writing time focused on my NaNoWriMo project ahead of time. Being organized seems to be something the Type-A organized folks recommend. Of course, pantsers disagree. 

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo in the past? What are some things you learned or helpful tips you’d like to share? 

Are you going to take part in NaNoWriMo this year?

I’d love to hear from you, so be sure and leave your comments in the comment section. 

I am still working on my nonfiction book focusing on prayer and worship. Hopefully, I will finish that by Spring 2019, as the Lord continues to teach me more about prayer and worship.

Happy Writing!

The Devotional Guy™

Celebrating Your 9 Favorite Posts of Summer 2018

Labor Day marked the unofficial close of Summer 2018. It has been a busy and eventful season in many respects and Sweet T and I continue to be blessed by seeing the Lord at work. T and I have already been busy discussing and preparing for the upcoming 2018 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) National Collection Week (November 12-19).  We’re excited to see what God will do in our 10th year of partnering with Samaritan’s Purse in this incredible ministry.

Our outreach at Union Gospel Mission Dallas continues to grow and produce blessings and fruit. Since joining this outreach ministering to the homeless 8 years ago, Sweet T and I have witnessed life change first hand. We are both grateful for our 4th Friday outreach team and their individual faithfulness to this powerful ministry. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!


Writing and blogging opportunities and avenues continue to show substantial growth as well and I’m certainly grateful to see the readership blossom for this writing ministry that God has called me to pursue, especially through The Devotional Guy™, which is now in its 5th full year. I’ve been working on a book focused on prayer since the beginning of the year and hope to have it completed soon. My original goal was to have it completed by the end of this Summer, but God has taken me down some different roads to reveal, show, and teach me some additional things that I believe will influence the final product.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

With one season winding down and another starting up, I wanted to take a look at nine of your favorite posts that received the most traffic during the Summer of 2018. Please feel free to check them out and pass them along. Here they are:

Psalm Saturday: How is Your Prayer Life?

The Last, the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely Among Us

The Secret of Cultivating Gentleness

Taste and See the Lord is Good!

Are You Tired and Empty? Find Jesus.

The Seven Wonders of God

Day 8339: Continuing to Face the Challenges of Living Life in Recovery

Celebrating My Sweet T!

More of Him. Less of me.

Thank you to all of you who continue to read faithfully and share this blog with your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow blogosphere mates. Pass it on!

Happy Blogging!

Peace be with you.


The Devotional Guy™

IMG_0767 Me and T Wild Horses 2 DVO GUY

TRIVIA: Did you know that Don Henley’s 1984 classic song “The Boys of Summer” features lyrics written by Henley and music composed by former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell?