Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo: Failure in the Small Things

Well, this year NaNoWriMo was an utter fail for me. A perfect storm of nonsense kept me from writing, or even trying to write. Some of the nonsense was good: a very successful book launch, a finished draft, a new job. Some of the nonsense was just plain nonsense.

However I look at this as a learning opportunity. While I wasn’t able to finish, I did get about 20,000 words written and am super happy with them. I also wrote the draft I finished at the beginning of November in 28 days, so I’m calling it my win.

No matter what, I’m planning on doing NaNoWriMo again in the spring and fall, so I’ve got three more chances to write books in 2019. It’s gonna be awesome.

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NaNoWriMo 2018: Week Three

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As hard as it is for me to admit, it looks like I’m not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. I wrote my last draft in record time – amusingly enough, I wrote 55,000 words in just under 30 days in October – and I guess I was a little burned out.

One of the many things I’ve learned is that being an indie genre writer is hard. More on that later, but I’m trying to not burn myself out entirely. After all, this is only my first year as an indie. The long and short of it is that I chose my mental health over NaNo, and while I am sad about not finishing, I will likely have about 20,000 words by the end of the month towards a brand new novel. More on that later too.

Hopefully I’ll have more than 20K at the end of the month, because I seem to be over my bump in the road and wrote quite a bit over the weekend. Just because I won’t finish doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing, and just having written something is more than some people have done! At least that’s what I tell myself when I see friends celebrating on Twitter. *uncomfortable laughter*

I’ve got kind of a cool announcement coming on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

NaNoWriMo 2018: Week Two

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This week has been a complete bust. I’m so far behind there’s surely no catching up and I’m about ready to just throw in the towel. I know that’s not in the spirit of NaNoWriMo but there’s been so much going on this month that I didn’t expect.

For one thing, the launch of A Christmas Reunion went far better than I had ever dreamed. I had to spend time dealing with that and reeling from the sudden spate of success that had visited me, but I was sure I would be able to catch up until I ended up getting a new job. Everyone can relate to things completely imploding when a new job is in the mix, but it was an amazing opportunity for me both personally and professionally and it will actually end up giving me more time to write!

There is an outside chance I could get at least halfway if I buckle down, but that means I should stop writing this post and start doing some word sprints. A lot of word sprints.

NaNoWriMo 2018: Week One

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I fully intended to write this post on Thursday so it could be posted on Friday, telling you all about how I’d triumphed over my deadlines and gotten so many words written. unfortunately, what actually happened was me being nervous about my race on Saturday and relieved about finishing my drafts and revisions that I sort of just passed out. Then on Saturday I went straight from work to Dallas for the races, and from there I didn’t get home until about 10, at which point I promptly crashed out and slept for about twelve hours. Hey, I ran 16 miles. But we’ll talk more about that later this week.

Yesterday I picked up my computer to try and get some words in, and discovered that I didn’t like how I began the story, how I had the main character acting, and the tone in general so I trashed it. Of course, then I started to panic because I was basically back to zero.

I remedied this by writing 4,000 words yesterday, which doesn’t put me near close enough to be caught up, but it’s a good start.

NaNoWriMo 2018: NaNostalgia

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It was cold, most likely because we lived closer to the mountains than Denver. I don’t remember if there was snow on the ground, but I do remember that we were tearing down the haunted house my clinic had put up to raise money for charity. I was tired because I’d stayed up for hours after the haunted house the night before doing the thing I loved the most. Writing.

That’s how my first NaNoWriMo started, at the stroke of midnight on November 1, 2002.

Memory is a weird thing for me. I’ll forget something I did five minutes ago but can remember the scent of the air in Louisville when I was walking through the Flatiron Crossing Christmas village to get to the theatre to watch the second Harry Potter movie again. I remember how much I loved school, I loved my clinic, I loved my husband. And at that time, I also loved NaNoWriMo.

The decision to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days was daunting, to say the least. The majority of what I’d written was fanfiction, and lots of it. My one attempt at a novel was fun but clumsy, but I’d grown since then and figured that even if it was terrible it would be something original.

Now, 16 years later, I have done NaNo plenty of times. I’ve won more often than not and I am confident I can write a novel in a month. I’ve published 3, about to be 4, books, I’ve had novellas in box sets, and I’ve had a book signing. I attribute this directly to NaNoWriMo, because without my very first novel I wouldn’t have known I could write one.

November 2018: let’s do this.

Camp NaNoWriMo Victory 2018

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Yesterday around 5:30 PM, I officially won the Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 session. Cue the confetti and party hats, because I earned another year’s worth of winner’s flair. After my epic failure in April, I’m quite glad that this turned out well.

Even though I’ve officially won, I plan to keep going until my story is finished and updating my word count along the way until the end of the month. There’s no way I’ll make it to 50K in 8 days and I probably couldn’t stretch the story that far anyway – it’s looking more like a novella – but I might be able to get it to 40K with a little coaxing.

I’ll update with my now-customary Friday post at the end of the week, then a sort of debriefing on August 1st. Then, I’ll be in NaNo hibernation until November 1st at 12:00 AM. I can’t wait for the next big thing…NaNo Prep Season! Woo!

Camp NaNoWriMo – July Edition!

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Hooray, it’s time for Camp! I’m excited to once again be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July, especially since I have an idea this time and I’m not reaching back into the vault. I’m usually somewhere between a Planner and a Pantser, but this time I am firmly seated at the Planner table.

I’m going to be working on a project for a release later this year, and I’m looking forward to getting started. In fact, I’m having trouble not starting it now but I want it to be the purest NaNo experience, so I won’t start before 12:00 AM on July 1st. I’m not as young as I used to be so I probably won’t stay up all night waiting to write and then spend an hour-plus feverishly writing.

I tried in April but things just didn’t work out, so I’m hoping to shake it off this round and get that first draft on paper. Screen. Whatever. I did finish what I was hoping to do but it was way after Camp ended. I didn’t feel too badly about it, there have been a number of years where I didn’t win. I’m not one of those people whose only thought is to finish. There are people who see it as a personal challenge to write the full 50K in one day but not me. For one thing, in order to do that I would literally be writing gibberish. I want my first draft to be a very rough but solid draft I can work with!

Right now I have a kitten savaging my pajama pants, so I’m going to leave this for now. I think I’m going to update with my progress on Fridays like I did when I first started this blog and did NaNoWriMo. I can’t wait!