My first NaNoWriMo – A thought a day

I first heard about NaNoWriMo years ago, before I had ever tried writing anything myself. I put it at the back of the filing cabinet in my mind and have since dreamt of one day challenging myself to write a 50,000 word first draft in one month.

NaNoWriMo 2018 has started and while I still don’t feel at all ready to tackle a novel, I’ve taken the plunge and signed up. This is my ‘practice novel’ and I am totally okay with it never seeing the light of day. Just proving to myself that I can actually write something full length is enough for me.

I’m in the great company of hundreds of thousands of other writers all over the world. (I’m JanelleWrites if you want to buddy up)

I’ll be sharing a thought a day about my first NaNo experience here. (Yep, the procrastination has started already)

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! I’ll see you in December.


Day one – OMG that was hard. I’ve written 1,669 words. Could have sworn it was about 6,000. But…I have started!

Day two – Phewf! Big day today. Set myself an insane word count goal. Didn’t quite make it but I’m pretty chuffed. (Note to self: Must stop checking word count every two sentences)

Day three – I hit 10,000 words! I’ve never written anything this long in my life. Although now I’m freaking out that my story isn’t ‘big’ enough for a novel. Eek.

Day four – First real experience of ‘hitting the wall’. Feeling quite overwhelmed but still managed to put the anxiety to one side and produce 2k words. One day at a time…

Day five – I’ve always convinced myself that I can only writing early on a morning but after work today I managed a half hour writing ‘sprint’ with my NaNo buddy Sophie. An extra 700 words.

Day six – Another writing sprint with my buddy Sophie this morning was a great motivator. My story is starting to go down alleyways I never planned for but I’m quite enjoying that. Let’s hope they’re not dead ends.

Day seven – Wine the night before means words do not come forth

Day eight – I think…I’m actually enjoying this?

Day nine – When the story starts going somewhere that wasn’t in the plan but you quite like it. I wonder what happens next?

Day ten – The trouble with veering from the plan is you can get stuck. Help, I need a map. I’m lost!

Day eleven – When real life happens, it’s okay to take a break from your fictional life.

Day twelve – Soooo haaaaaaaaard

Day thirteen – I have definitely lost my ‘flow’. But I know that’s okay and normal. I think I need to go back to my plan…Hang in there peeps. We can do this!

Day fourteen – Thank you Jessica Brody for your book, Save the Cat Writes a Novel.  It’s helping me see the wood for the trees.

Day fifteen – “Historically, week two is always a bit of a struggle for most folks” – This email from the Manchester MJ made me feel better. I’m just the same as all the other NaNo-ers.

Day sixteen – Thought I could sneak in some words before a big weekend of travelling and partying for a friend’s birthday. Other stuff got in the way.

Day seventeen/ day eighteen – A welcome break from my stuttering story

Day nineteen – This is the part of the marathon where I’m just coming through the wall. Every step is an effort but I’m still stepping nonetheless. 1,750 words this morning but the finish line still seems impossibly far away.

Day twenty – I’m fully pantsing now which is SOOO outside my comfort zone. I have no idea what’s going to happen next. I’ve just thought of a potential plot twist which I’m quite excited about. Fully expecting to hate the idea tomorrow. Watch this space…

Day twenty one – This reeeally is a slog now. (But deep down I am enjoying it, honest!) I’m finding dialogue seems to flow more easily. If in doubt I just let my characters talk to each other and see what happens.






Published by JanelleHAuthor

I’m currently writing my debut novel, ‘Up to the Stars’ (working title). If you love the work of Rachel Joyce, Mike Gayle, Kit de Wall, Beth O’Leary and Lia Louis, then I’m writing my book for you. What else might you like to know? I’m a Yorkshire lass in Manchester. I married my childhood sweetheart. I regularly engage in tsundoku – apparently it’s a Japanese word which means buying lots of books that you’ll never get round to reading. I also sing.

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