NaNoWriMo,  Work-In-Progress,  Writer's Block,  Writing Journey

NaNoWriMo Talk

Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? National Novel Writing Month comes with a lot of excitement and pep talks and activities, and it makes for great writing fuel, but I haven’t gotten the timing right in years.

Before I get into that, though, quick writing update since it’s kind of relevant, I’m still working on the same story I was working on last time I talked about writing. The working title is still “Winter” and it just so happens to be a rewrite of the story I wrote for NaNo 2013.

I’ve only done NaNo proper a handful of times. I signed up in 2011 and somehow forgot to participate. In 2012, I was working on a hot mess of a story and gave up trying to win around 15k words in when I hit a wall and decided to go back to the beginning and rewrite everything, which was super fun. >.<

In 2013, I dragged myself over the finish line and won NaNo with around 53k words. I wrote a little bit more in December before quitting the story, and NaNo is probably the only reason I made it as far as I did, though rather that’s a good thing or not since I had to scrap everything is up for debate. In 2014, I won NaNo again with 55k on another story that needs to be rewritten. I don’t blame NaNo for these wrecks. I can be quite mental at the beginning stages of any project, and with that year’s project, I was a special kind of mental and didn’t need to be working on anything. The story got done in December, I think, with no problems because I had a full outline going into it, but I needed to not be writing, because my lack of focus meant another rewrite from scratch would be in order.

I’ve mentioned before that I can be an incredibly slow starter. I’m not always, but I’m often am, and that can make NaNoWriMo hard to swing, because I can’t actually predict how neurotic I’m going to be going into a project.

In 2015, I wasn’t in the mood, so I didn’t force it, and gave up a week or two or less into the month. I started a project in 2016, but I ending up spending half the month editing another book. Then I needed a break in 2017, and needed another break in 2018.

I’m thinking about participating this year, even though I wouldn’t be starting a new story from scratch. I was stalled on my story for a bit (being mental again) and thought I could use NaNo energy as fuel to get moving again. The problem wasn’t with my story. As in, if I tried to write or made myself write a sentence or two, it was no problem at all. The problem was only in getting me to do it in the first place.

I did talk through the issues and was able to get the story moving again, and of course, I don’t want to sit around and wait for NaNo to write, so once again, the timing isn’t good. BUT depending on what my word count is going into November, I might hop on and see if it motivates me to get some writing done. I really want this story done by the end of the year. I have too many other stories I want to write, and I got three new ideas last week, and one of them is actually really good, so it’s like…GET MOVING! Haha.

I recently found something I wrote from 2013 in which I said I didn’t care if I was ever published. I just wanted to keep writing because it brings me joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t that a nice thing to say to myself? I think it’s easy to lose sight of why I write, and why I write the stories I write. Sometimes, when things aren’t easy, it’s hard to keep going, and I never remember how I got through it the last time.

It’s getting close to time to make macro goals for next year, and I want to publish a book next year, and I want it to be the one I’m working on. That’s the plan, but it’s hard to make that decision this early in the story. At the same time, I made publishing decisions early with the last three books I published before they were even close to done. I know why I’m scared, but the deeper I get into the project, the less scared I get. It’s like, I can see how the story is coming together, and it’s making me less anxious about the things I’ve been anxious about. I admire when other writers take risks, so it makes sense that I have to take some risks as well.

What’s that quote: if you’re not growing you’re dying? Something like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

On a random note: I got my new planner in the mail last week, and it’s so perfect! I can’t wait. ^_^


  • Michelle Athy

    I haven’t done NaNo in years. I don’t know, I think I realized it doesn’t fit my writing style. I have a story I’m not that far into that I could work during NaNo, but there’s no way I could do the word count. Especially now, with school and all.

    • Krystal Jane

      Even if I can meet the daily word count, something about having a specific daily goal stresses me out. The times I won, I still didnโ€™t write everyday. I focused more on finishing scenes and chapters than word count.

  • Christine Rains

    It’s been a while since I’ve officially done NaNo. I wrote a novel (70,000 words) after Thanksgiving last year in 3.5 weeks. I’m very tempted to participate this year as I need the boost in motivation. The beginning of the year started so slow. Yet I lose time in November due to the week my mom’s visiting and Thanksgiving. I’m still on the fence! Good luck and enjoy that new planner. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Krystal Jane

      November definitely has a tendency to be a busy month! I think the most amount of words I’ve written is 60k in 3 weeks. I still home to get an entire book finished in a month one day. Haha. I’m estimating that if I do NaNo, I would join just for the motivation and not to try and win, but that depends on how much I get done in October.

  • Jodi Perkins (@Perkjo)

    I entered Nano one time several years ago, and I didn’t write one single word. Entering a contest with huge word counts instantly overwhelms me and instead of feeling on fire over it, I freeze. Which makes me that much more impressed by writers who complete the challenge! If you decide to go for it (which it sounds like you will), best wishes for reaching the finish line!

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