Post NaNoWriMo: 2018

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NaNoWriMo is over for another year.

Congrats to all those who reached 50k! Or even those bold souls who went over 100k! But equally, congrats to anyone who entered NaNoWriMo in the first place and wrote some words. It doesn’t matter if you barely wrote 100 words or 5k words or 30k words. What matters is you wrote, which is more than some people can say.

Every year, NaNoWriMo is a journey for me and I barely ever make it. Life just always has a way of interrupting me and throwing me curve balls. This year, since I’ve been writing the month beforehand, I was able to stay pretty consistent, but I did go out two nights and catch a cold a few days before the end of November. Not the best end to the month.

I’ve also realised my story is only half done. I originally wanted to separate my story into two books, but I think it makes sense to make it two parts. Although, I’m not entirely sureĀ what to write for the second part. I’m taking a mini break, perhaps a month long break, because I’ve been neglecting other things that I now have the time to focus on and I’m honestly exhausted. I’ve been juggling too much and it’s taking a toll on me mentally and physically.

I might still write because I’ve now got myself into a sort of routine. But it has to be at my own pace. I struggled to write 1,700 words every day and felt guilty if I missed a day or two. I need regular breaks, especially considering how stressed I get at work. I’ll aim for 500-1000 words per day, if I can. But if I need to do other things, I’ll prioritise those over my writing.

How was your NaNoWriMo experience? Did you reach that 50k goal? Did you reach your own personal writing goal? Will you enter next year?

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My final word count
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NaNoWriMo 2018: Week Four

To think, a week from now, NaNoWriMo 2018 will be finished.

Personally, I can’t wait. I’ve barely found the time to write 1,700 words everyday, and from now on, I’m gonna aim to write 1,000 words per day. It’s much more manageable and gives me more time to do what I want in the evening.

After nearly catching up last weekend and only needing an extra thousand words or less, I fell behind again this week. I was exhausted on Friday and I ran out of time yesterday, so I wrote 5k today alone. I had originally aimed for 10k, but that was overly ambitious. Unfortunately, I am busy two days this week, so I’m hoping I can either write a lot on three out of the five remaining nights, or I can just binge write on Friday afternoon/evening.

I’ve nearly caught up again. This time, I’m a few hundred words behind. I could catch up tonight, but we’ll see how I feel and what else I have to do.

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Have you reached that 50k yet? Or have you hit your own personal goals?

Week four word count
My word count

NaNoWriMo 2018: Week Three

I’ve made it to week three! I’ve now gotten over the week two struggle, which hasn’t been as much a struggle this year as in previous years, but still a struggle since I was ill. I was already behind, so falling behind again wasn’t ideal.

However, I’m now only about 3,000 words behind instead of 5,000+. I’ve spent the past three days writing more than necessary to try and catch up. Although, I wasted precious writing time by shopping or travelling, and I’m annoyed at myself for that. I had aimed to write 5,000 words per day on Saturday and Sunday, but alas, life never works the way you want it to.

Thankfully, this week is a little different from previous weeks. For starters, I’m not at work this week, and the place I am at has set times for me to be there, meaning I get to finish earlier than I usually do. A little more time in the evening is so pivotal to my writing success. If I can write 2,000 words per day, I might slowly catch up. If not, I really will need to force myself to just write on the weekend to catch up. Otherwise, it might be a serious struggle to reach 50,000.

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Have you fallen behind or are you hitting those word counts? Or have you hit the 50,000 words mark already?

NaNoWriMo Week Three
My word count

NaNoWriMo 2018: Week Two

I’m still behind. But I decided to write in a coffee shop for a few hours today and I managed to double my usual word count, so I’m not as behind as I was. I’m still at least 3,000 words behind, but I’m hoping to go to a write in at some point this week, so hopefully that’ll help.

I usually struggle in the second week, but since I’ve been writing a month beforehand this year, it’s been a journey so far. I find writing to and from work helps massively because I’m inspired by my reality around me, whereas on the weekend, I have to motivate myself and set aside time to write, which is a struggle. Especially if I don’t go outside all day.

I was hoping to catch up this weekend, but I haven’t. However, hopefully I can catch up by the end of next week. Maybe even pull ahead. Last month, I fell behind and stayed behind, so I wrote less than I wanted to. This month, I’m determined not to fall too badly behind. If I miss a day, I’ll have to play catch up, so I’m really trying not to. Even if I only write 300 words, that’s still better than 0, and it gives me more time to catch up. Additionally, since I’m working, I only really get two hours once I’m home to write, if I’m not being sociable or watching a TV show instead. In that respect, it’s been a struggle.

Let’s hope I can catch up before the end of NaNoWriMo!

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Have you hit that week two struggle and fallen behind? Or are you writing like a champ and hitting those word counts?

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My word count

NaNoWriMo 2018: Week One

While week one has only been four days long, I’ve already fallen behind. But I’m hoping to play catch up tonight, especially since I might not get a chance to write tomorrow either.

The advantage and disadvantage of writing a month beforehand is I’ve already written a fair amount. However, most have been snippets of scenes, so I need to choose where to expand and what scenes I’ve avoided.

My aim for the end of the night is to reach 5,000 words, but I’m being optimistic, considering my uncle is visiting and I haven’t got long before I go to bed. Hopefully I can reach 1,700 words and catch up on Friday instead. Or tonight, if I really knuckle down and figure out what I need to write.

How has your first four days been? Are you meeting the daily word count, or have you fallen behind?

NaNoWriMo Week One
My word count (so far)

Pre-NaNoWriMo: Last Thoughts

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As the last weekend before NaNoWriMo, I thought it’d be fair to share how I feel about NaNoWriMo this year.

I’ll be honest, even though this is my seventh year entering NaNoWriMo, I’m apprehensive. My job is intense right now and I’m barely struggling to deal with my work load, let alone juggling work with an apprenticeship that I’ve nearly finished.

However, I have been writing for the past month because I wanted to enter December with 100k rather than 50k, and because I know I won’t write in December since that’s always manic month for me. Additionally, I have more or less been able to write a little bit every day, so I have a routine for that at least. Hopefully it’ll serve me well for NaNoWriMo too.

I usually write my stories in order, but this time, I decided to write in scenes instead. Snippets of scenes usually. Once or twice, I did write a full scene or so. It’s been so helpful to write in scenes, not in order. The scenes have kept me motivated enough to keep writing every day, so that’s a plus.

Although, there’s now a problem. I haven’t put the snippets in order, nor re-read them, so I don’t know what I’ve already written and how much I’ve written for them. It’d be a waste of time and words if I were to write out a scene I’ve already done. I’m hoping to put the scenes in order on Scrivener and see where I need to fill in. Bearing in mind I’ve never really used Scrivener before. It’ll be a fun challenge, using new software for the first time.

I do have an outline, which I created while waiting for a train. My life has been non-stop travelling for the past three weeks, so I’m quite glad to not be travelling anywhere far this weekend. Although, I am socialising and being kept busy, so I don’t know if I’ll have time to do what I want to. We’ll have to wait and see.

I am sad I won’t get that usual buzz/itch to start NaNoWriMo on the 1st November, but that doesn’t mean I won’t re-find the joy in writing. I only hope I can make it through the next month relatively unscathed.

There are a few things I know:

  1. I can complete NaNoWriMo – I’ve completed it four of the six years I’ve entered under equally as stressful situations.
  2. I can take days off so long as I write more than necessary each day – I’ve found writing 1,700 words every day instead of just 1,667 words helps in the long run. More is definitely better.
  3. Any words are better than no words – even if I do end up rewriting scenes, it’s not as bad as not writing at all.

My main priority is finding a balance. If I can’t, writing will have to be what I give up, which kills me inside, but my work/life balance isn’t great right now. Things will calm down, but this month could get quite rocky for me and my wellbeing has to come first.

Good luck everyone!

NaNoWriMo Prep

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As NaNoWriMo draws closer, you might be struggling with doing any kind of preparation for this mammoth task, especially if you’ve never partaken in this before. Don’t worry. I’ve got some tips in mind to help you out.

1. Outline

Outline is the most helpful tip I can you.

I know, an outline can be daunting and constricting, but nobody says you have to stick rigidly to it. Moreover, an outline can be a brief outline, with only the beginning or ending planned out. Or perhaps just a list of the characters you’ll use and their importance to the story. Perhaps you’ll feel better if you write down each chapter synopsis in detail, mentioning exactly what’ll happen when. Just make sure you leave room for spontaneity too.

2. Acknowledge what you write might be terrible

The point of NaNoWriMo is to write. Not to edit it as you go along, or continually start over because it doesn’t sound right. Just writing can sometimes give you gems you might not have written had you been able to edit it as you wrote, and your story might go in a completely different direction to the one you’d planned it to go in. You don’t know what’ll happen, so embrace it. Embrace the challenge of just writing and not editing.

3. Plan your writing schedule

Sure, writing 1,667 words every day seems easy enough, but that doesn’t mean it is. Planning out a chunk of time when you’ll write each day will train you into doing it and make it a force of habit, so each day you’ll be dedicated enough to write. For those who hate the idea of a writing schedule, trust me it’ll be a saving grace when you have those days where you don’t feel like writing, because if you wanna reach that 50,000 words at the end of the month, you’ve gotta write every day. Especially on those days when you don’t feel like doing so. It’s what all published writers say.

Although, if you really can’t write everyday for legitimate reasons (outside you just don’t feel like it), that’s perfectly okay too. There is nothing wrong with taking a day or two, especially if you’re forced to. Just be prepared, if you can be, by writing more on the days afterwards.

Additionally, prepare your writing tools. Are you writing in a notebook or on a laptop? Either way, make sure you have a version backed up, just in case. Have plenty of pens. Constantly charge your laptop. Create a writing playlist if you need one. Eat and drink what’ll help motivate you, and keep you healthy, and find the right environment for you. All of these things are pivotal to writing productively and keeping yourself going during NaNoWriMo.

4. Rewards

Rewarding yourself is so important. It’s all good and well to sit down and write every day, especially on those days when you don’t want to, but planning little rewards for yourself is equally as good. Perhaps you’ll reward yourself with that TV episode you’ve been saving, or you’ll buy a brand new notebook, or you’ll give yourself some chocolate.

But make sure the reward is used at a reasonable time. Don’t reward yourself because you sat down and opened a word document and then stop writing for three days while you reward yourself. Instead, reward yourself for hitting 1,000 words, or finishing a scene, or for reaching halfway through. Whatever the goal and reward are, just make sure they balance each other out.

5. Stay healthy

Life can be harsh and definitely unpredictable. If your mental or physical health take a hit, take a break from writing. It might hurt to give it up temporarily, but your wellbeing is more important than writing. Don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily to complete a daunting challenge like this, especially if you can’t find the time to do so. Your writing can wait.


Find what works for you and NaNoWriMo will be more enjoyable. Do what you can and have fun. This is an experience just as much as it is a challenge. And other last inspirational messages here. I’m sure you’ve got a few tucked away in your mind. Hold onto them. Encouragement can be helpful during NaNoWriMo.

What are you doing to prepare to NaNoWriMo?