Thoughts on a decade of NaNoWriMo

I wrote my first nano in 2005. That makes this my tenth year and uh, eleventh nano novel. The site had delightfully informed me that I have written a total of 518,487 words over the years. It’s kind of mindboggling.

So, thinking over it, it’s kind of neat and weird at the same time. My kidlets have spent their entire childhoods with a mom who takes a month ‘off’ every year to write. It’s like a family tradition now, and it would probably weirder for them if I didn’t spend every November writing every day.

It’s also become rather boring for friends and family; ‘Oh, won again, that’s nice’. I can’t hold it against them; just because I find it fun and exhilarating doesn’t mean everyone else should.

I can’t explain why I still love it so. Why I will continue to do it every year until they either stop holding it, or I die (preferably of old age).




Nano 2015 – Nov. 27


I did it.

I have hit the 50k goal. I am a winner, or will be, when I validate my novel tomorrow, because I’m tired now, lol, and a little giddy. I wrote in more than one file, so I have to sort of mix it all up to validate, which seems like far too much effort at the moment. I’ll do it tomorrow.


Nano 2015 – Nov. 24

Tonight is a night off from writing.

For once I’m noticing the little signs that say ‘stress rising’, and so I’m going to play a couple of video games, read some blogs, then go to bed.

I’m just enough ahead that this won’t freak me out, and I’m bursting with scenes I want to write, so the next few days are going to be fun!

Nano 2015 – Nov. 23


2nd day of new strategy, and it’s still working well. Wrote part of scene (it was definitely longer than a day’s writing, lol!) for another story, still have more in it to write, so it’ll be interesting tonight; do I move on to a 3rd story, or finish off the scene?

I’m also finding ideas for my screwed up ‘main’ story I intended to finish this year. I keep meaning to write them down before I forget them; on the to-do list. I’m glad the creative juices are flowing for it, though. I was a bit afraid it was one of those unsalvageable stories, which require a complete deconstruction and a new plot. At which point, I just call it a new story, lol.

Peruvian Naga by kyoht:


Nano 2015 – Nov. 22 (part 2)


So, first day of the new nano experiment went well. I picked a story, and wrote a scene. 2000 words came out, and yay, it was easy to write. No drag, no feelings of doing something wrong (which was how I was beginning to feel about my original story).

I think I did manage to disappoint my mother, as she dreams of me finishing and publishing a novel, but then, I sometimes think mothers (of a certain age/generation) seem to be built that way.

At some point, well after nano, I’m going to start revamping the story’s MC, as well as the storyline, and get to writing it fresh. When I have the time; nanowrimo doesn’t have that sort of leisure time built into it. It’ll join my weird west story as a WIP. That’ll give me a couple of things to work on during 2016!

Nano 2015 – Nov. 22 (part 1)

I woke this morning and knew what I was going to do for the rest of this nano. Because of the, ahem, rather large number of stories I have waiting to be written, it came to me that the best way to spend the rest of nanowrimo would be to pick one story each day and write a single scene (length amounting to the daily word count). That way, I will still write my 50,000, but instead of partially writing yet another novel, I’ll have written a scene in 9 different ones (I’m not including the 2008 novel, it’s got all sorts of scenes, lol).

Why did this never occur to me before? Okay, part of it is that it doesn’t really fit the ‘rules’; when I started doing nano, the ‘rule’ was that you write a novel, not a pile of different scenes. They relaxed that rule a couple of years ago*, so I should stop feeling a tad guilty and enjoy it.

Next year I want to do this right from the start! Write 30 scenes, 30 different stories**, wow, this will be so much fun!

I’ll post later tonight, about whether this is a good idea or a disaster.

GoW:A The Manticore by Izzy Medrano




*nanowrimo rules are more honour-system, intended to push people to write that novel they always meant to, but never quite got around to it.

**if a scene goes longer than one day, that’s okay, but I’ll still have to move on when it’s done. It’ll be interesting to see how many stories I end up working on.