On this, the last day of November, the last day of NaNoWriMo, I will start my day with a mere 1,500 words left to write.
I’ve tried to fit my words without having them take over my life and the NaNoWriMo word sprints are really helping with that. I’ve done 21 shared word sprints this month, averaging about 500 words per 15-minute sprint. So long as I have a good 15-minute break before I try to start writing after a sprint, I’m pretty okay.
But then? I look at my notes and see that last November? I wrote a sequel to my original novel. And…I not only wrote it, but I wrote a Nano-and-a-half worth of words. 75,000 words.
This year? My story did not flow that easily.
Was it the characters? Was it the world building?
The tense, the adherence to the basic Robin Hood timeline that stymied me? I don’t know.
Maybe I’m just calling it quits too soon?
They say that every story is different and I’ve come to truly appreciate the truth in that.
So, let’s look back at my NaNo writing this month.
October 28th, I went to the Northern Virginia NaNoWriMo kick-off meeting, seeing many familiar faces from last year and several new ones.
November 1st, I started writing [Finding Robin], a gender-bent Robin Hood story that’s been percolating in my head for a few years.
November 5th, I made it to the local library where a 1-5pm write-in was occurring. It was full of people typing, many with headphones, making progress. The silence was overwhelming and intimidating. I spent 80% of it researching. A nano friend showed up halfway through to share my table. The last 20 minutes of the write-in were spent chatting with those who were left, mostly us moderate extroverts.
November 9th, I got a personal laptop so I could participate in write-ins without abusing my work laptop. And because I’d put in my 2 weeks notice already…
November 16th, one of my sisters and her husband visited me from the West Coast. I still squeezed my words in!
November 17th was my last day of work, at the company I’ve been with for over 2 years.
November 20th, I made it to a Panera write-in. I was on the early side, only 1 person was already there. I ate, and the crowd started filtering in. It was full of people who knew each other. Reunions between peeps who were only in town for the holiday break. I sprinted a few times, got my words in, then bailed. They were friendly, but I had a Justice League plans!
According to my calendar, Thanksgiving week was going to be light, leaving plenty of time to write. In reality? It was pretty durn full!
Culminating Saturday, November 25th, I ended up overbooking and while visiting friends from out of town, midnight hit with me having gotten NO words done. It’s the only day I’d missed all month.
November 26th, I spent 8 hours trying to get 2 days worth of NaNo in… (Have I mentioned I’m not a sprinter?)
November 27th, I started my new job. Closer to friends and family, and cheaper housing. With a MUCH earlier wake-up time.
Tonight, I will finish NaNoWriMo2017. This month, despite my missed day and having written far past bedtime more than once to finish my words, I’m still on schedule.
Did you do NaNoWriMo this month?
If so, how well did your words flow?
Do you write better in your own world or established worlds?
Morgan Hazelwood (she/her) is a fantasy novelist who blogs and vlogs writing tips and writerly musings.
She likes taking pictures of the sky, reading a good book, and ambiverting from her living room. She's also a voice for the fairy-tale audio drama: Anansi Storytime and its sister podcast: Legendsmith.
She's been known to procrati-clean her whole house and alphabetize other people's bookshelves.
View all posts by Morgan Hazelwood