Birmingham writer challenges herself to write 100,000 words in a month


An Erdington accounts assistant is up to write 100,000 words in one month during an international writing challenge covering six continents.

Ready, set… write!

Jessy Pinnel, 25, has been taking part in the National Novel Writing Month challenge for the last four years.

Commonly known as the NaNoWrimo, the goal is to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

But Jessy has bigger goals:

“I have completed the 50,000 words goal every time so far. I happen to do most of my writing during November.

“I personally need the push and the competitive nature of the challenge really helps me. Competing against the month and in between writers is the best incentive as a writer.

“It is is a bit scary, I always feel better once I have got my first 5,000 words down and have a buffer, just in case.”

Jessy has had to do a lot of preparation beforehand. October is the planning month to define the outline of her novel. But the words written during this period don’t count towards the challenge.

She will have from the 1st to the 30th of November at midnight to reach her big objective of 100,000 words.

“My story starts off in 1888 London following Jack the Ripper and swiftly turns its attention away to a secret galactic manhunt spanning the ages.”


Image courtesy of the National Writing Month


A writers community

Jessy is also one of the leaders (called Municipal Liaisons, or ML) of the Birmingham Nanoers community (Nanoers is the name of the participating writers). Alongside two other ML, she is the link between the global organization and the local writers, and she organizes events at the Geek Retreat bar to gather them around the challenge.

“Between 15 and 35 people come at these reunions. We gather on a regular basis throughout the month and organize fun activities and little challenges to boost motivation because sometimes you can get bogged down by how much you have to write.

“You get a sense of community and want everyone to get to their 50,000 words written, which is probably why it gets competitive at times.

“At the end of the month, we throw up the “Thank God It’s Over party” where we give out prizes and all go out for a meal to celebrate the end of it all.”

The NaNoWriMo can be a real kickstart for some writers. But the most important thing is the human and personal experience, Jessy says:

“It has been one of the best things I have done. I have gained friends, confidence and my writing has improved tenfold.”


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