My belated Nanowrimo update

Want to know how many words I wrote for Nano? Prepare to be jealous, writerly friends: including my last-ditch attempt on 11/30, I wrote a big fat 12194.

Yes, that’s right. I basically did about 7 or 8 days’ worth of Nano this year. Sad, I know. But don’t cry for me, although certainly, I should be crying for me. I’m pleased about a few things.

1) I got my ass up at 4 a.m. to write on a lot of those November days. This probably doesn’t mean much to you if you have discipline in your life (for which I salute you), but for me, coinciding as November did with a parental visit and my pregnancy’s entry into the delight known as The Third Trimester, or A Return to First Trimester Horrors’ Past? Really, the fact that I was able to get up, stay up, and write some crap that wasn’t complete crap feels like badassdom.  Best of all, now that I’m in the groove of it, I’m finding it easier to do on a regular basis. Which leads to:

2) Regularity is what works for me as a writer. Yes, I need a schedule. It also helps if I write in the morning, when it’s quiet and the only distraction is a snoozy puppy. As shown:

snoozy puppy

She’s a big help. It’s like she’s not even there, except when she snores. Very inspiring.

3) I got down an outline. Yes, pantser-Peppery actually has a plan. I may have been inundating my manuscript with comments/notes for future edits and changes to said plan, but there is a plan. So I’ll keep trundling along and attempt to ignore how that little AT THIS RATE YOU WILL FINISH YOUR NOVEL ON: [embarrassing future date] widget on the Nano page tells me I won’t finish till March. Shhh, widget, shhhh.

Any nano-ers out there reading this? How did you do? What did you do? What will you do differently next year, and tomorrow, and the day after that?


6 thoughts on “My belated Nanowrimo update

  1. Okay, the fact that you even attempted NaNoWriMo while approaching your third trimester of pregnancy is a huge feat in itself. I have never been pregnant, so I cannot speak to that experience, but from everything I’ve heard about it…you just may be superwoman.

    I did do NaNoWriMo for the first time, and I was able to win. However, now that it is over, I need to get some self-discipline and figure out how to keep up a regular writing schedule. This is proving difficult.

    Anyway, congrats on the words you did get and good luck finishing your manuscript!


    1. Way to go you for winning Nano! I hope to someday join the ranks, even if I only manage a crappy first draft. :) And soon I’ll get to see how newborns and writing mix…

      I don’t know if you follow Mur Lafferty and her I Should Be Writing podcast, but since I started listening to it she’s mentioned The Magic Spreadsheet (created by Tony Pisculli) as a help for her daily writing. Link to her post/cast about it:

      Note: technically, I don’t use the public sheet, but a lot of people seem to like it. I did shamelessly copy the format and I do a private count for myself, without paying too much attention to the “point” system or whether or not I make a minimum count. Just tracking my word count seems to spur me on, and getting any words down make me happy! Not sure if this will work for you, but I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nano has never really worked for me. I definitely do need the structure of writing every day, but the idea of getting a specific number of words every day/week/month/etc. turns me off. I need occasional days where my “writing work” consists of research or editing or spending two hours writing one sentence and then another hour deleting it; they help to reset my brain while keeping the story still fresh and active.

    And because I do need the structure of writing every day, and because I spent most of my first and second trimesters way too nauseated, exhausted or braindead to write anything of substance, I haven’t actually written anything at all in *mumble-mumble long time*. The third trimester actually has me feeling pretty well so far, in terms of energy, mood and overall well being, but part of me is wondering if it’s even worth it to start up writing again in the last 10-ish weeks before Baby Time. Of course it is worth it, even a half-assed attempt is worth it, but it’s hard to get back in the rhythm once I am out of it.


    1. The first trimester was really the freakin’ worst, IMO. Soooooo tired. I didn’t write anything at all during that time, and it was frustrating. I’m glad your third tri is working out better for you. I think mine is getting a little better–I’m actually waking up earlier now, wired to the hilt. Perhaps it’s some kind of magical energy surge as I get closer to 40 weeks?

      One of Patricia Wrede’s recent posts reminds me of this [that is: writing structure, especially when life shit is happening], where she’s talking about discipline:

      “Some days, all I did was correct a couple of typos, or even just look at the file for fifteen minutes.”

      Reading that (and your thoughts now) gave me a little start, like, Oh. I can do that! I DO do that! Okay! Let’s go! And I need those research/planning days, too–I just need to remember it’s okay and part of writing.


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