National Novel Writing Month · Writing

NaNoWriMo Update (or doing November slightly differently!)


I am a massive fan of NaNoWriMo. I love that it’s a challenge, and I love the community of writers that spring up each November to cheer each other when times are good and commiserate when times are bad.

I have attempted NaNoWriMo a few times, and won once, and this November I aimed to win it once more! But I was worried. The one time I won, it was hard. Really, really hard. I didn’t sleep much, I ate junk food all month and I got very, very stressed when I didn’t reach my daily word goal.


This year, I decided I would try a different mindset. I was to try and be chill.

In previous years, I have been really strict with myself when it comes to NaNo: 50,000 of one novel. This year I *planned* to do to; 25,000 words of my MG fantasy WIP about an alien and 25,000 words of my MG sci-fi about time travel. That way, if I got stuck on one project, I could just switch to the other.

But by last weekend, I’d finished draft one of my MG fantasy (Cue happy dancing and lots of tea!). I had sped through November so far, the words were coming so fast and I was on a high. I was living, eating and breathing my story. Then I typed two words:

The End.


And then, there was nothing. All my motivation seemed to vanish. I spend a few days in a wordless vacuum, until, a story popped into my head.

Now, me a year or two ago would have scribbled a few notes on that story and then got back to not writing the other one. This year, was different. I allowed myself to deviate from my plan and started writing my new story.

The inspiration flooded back. I couldn’t type fast enough, and most importantly of all, I was having tonnes of fun. Sticking rigidly to a plan didn’t work for me, being slightly more flexible did. And best of all, I now have 3 stories that I didn’t have on November 1st.

At the moment, I am just over 46,000 words, which is the furthest ahead I’ve ever been in NaNo. I’m also eating well, sleeping eight hours a night and I’m really not that stressed, which is remarkable considering that I have been to the vets THREE times in the last week (my poor pets!).

I also feel really creative. Usually by this point in November all I want to do is fling my laptop to the other side of the room and curl up in a ball. This time, I don’t feel so drained. SO YAY!!

Another technique I have been using is book rewards. Basically, when ever I hit a milestone I get to start a book I am super duper excited about. So far I’ve read SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (which is BRILLIANT by the way!) and I’ve just started WINTER by Marissa Meyer. BOOK REWARDS WORK PEOPLE!


Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little update post and I hope that if you’re doing NaNo it’s going well! I am hoping to be a more consistent blogger as soon as November is finished. I’m off to get some more words down.

*If you’d like to add me as a writing buddy my user name is lauranoakes 🙂

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