NaNoWriMo 2019: Complete!


I’m wrapping up NaNo 2019 this year with 60,761 words on an entirely new project that is not even close to finished. This is my fifth consecutive year participating, and my fifth win. (I’ve won in prior years as well, but for fun back in college, long before I adopted this pseudonym or had this blog or published anything for public consumption.)

nano 2019 progression

I was ahead of the standard curve from the first day and built myself enough cushion early on to absorb the days when I didn’t have time to write at least 1,667 words. In fact, I planned that into my goals for the first time, this year: I set the goal of only 444 words on days I worked double shifts. That’s the minimum count to maintain a daily streak on 4thewords, which I’ve been using for six months now!

nano 2019 daily word count

My daily word count ranged from 521 at the low end to 3,963 at the high end. While the new NaNoWriMo site has carried over past projects for basic lifetime totals, the daily stats for them are gone, but I’m 99% sure I broke the 4K/day barrier on past projects, so this one was not record setting. Nor is it my highest total word count (that was back in 2015 with What We Need to Decide when I hit 65K.) But I did write every day and update every day, and honestly, I think that might be a first. I usually miss at least one day somewhere along the way, but realistic and flexible daily goals helped a great deal when I was facing a lack of motivation to write.

So did bringing a journal to work, to allow me to squeeze out a few sentences here and there during down time.

I’ll be honest, from story perspective, this project is a mess. I’ve got a muddled and over-long beginning burdened with too much character introspection, a slow middle, then a huge gap of time I skipped over to get to the first culmination of the romance, where my two lovebirds finally admit something more than friendship is going on. Then I’ve got a few solid scenes following that, but no “final” conflict to threaten their happiness, and I certainly don’t have an ending.

The good thing? I’m fully aware of the flaws in this project, and I’m going to spend December filling in those gaps to finish the first draft.

This time last year, since I started my new project for Fictober, NaNo was about finishing it, so I was done by now. I wish I’d been able to do that again this year, because trying to finish a novel draft, even the first draft, around the holidays is not ideal timing for me. I’ve got mountains of cookies to bake! But I’m going to do it. I’m going to keep my same flexible daily goals depending on my word schedule. I’m going to keep updating my project on the NaNo site (assuming the new layout supports that, it did in years past); I’m going to keep myself accountable on my social media with the daily updates on Tumblr.

I am going to finish this project, dammit.

I’ll let you know towards the end of the year how it’s going, but NaNoWriMo itself is over, so that’s all for now!


NaNoWriMo 2019: Progress Report #1

  • Total Word Count: 24,728 (day 10)
  • Fewest Words Per Day: 1,889 (day 1)
  • Most Words Per Day: 3,963 (day 3)
  • Average Daily Word Count: 2,473
  • Currently Projected to Finish By: Nov 21st

So NaNo is going well. I came so close to hitting the halfway mark on Day 10, I will definitely get there today. I’m pantsing my way through an incredibly loose outline that only includes a few specific scenes (most of which I haven’t even gotten to yet) and mostly relies on “and then stuff happens.”

As far as the plot goes, I’m over-writing, because at 24K I should have about a quarter of the story told, as my novels tend to be in the 90-100K range. I don’t think I have, I’ve been getting word count when I’m “stuck” by explaining, often at great length, some aspect of the world-building, or detailing how the POV character feels. It’s exposition, and I know it is, and assuming this draft even gets finished post-NaNo (several of mine haven’t) then a lot of this is going to get condensed or cut in revision. However, NaNo isn’t about “good” writing, and when the time comes to rewrite, I’m going to be glad I spent all that time recording my thoughts on how the characters feel, because occasionally on past projects I would look at a section of dialogue and or a bit of internal monologue and wonder, “What was I thinking? Because I don’t remember the point of this.”

I’ve got enough ideas moving forward that I don’t think I’m going to stall out any time soon. And the first winter storm of the season just hit us–it’s been snowing steadily since I woke up and is projected to keep snowing until sometime tomorrow–so after I squeeze in a quick run before it gets worse, I’ll probably be holed up inside the rest of the day, might as well write, right?

NaNo ’18: I Won!


Here’s the deal. I hit my 50K today (with one day left!) but #spookyromancenovel is NOT finished. I’ve got a few more days probably on that, though I am so so close to the end.

There will not be a “This Week, I Read…” post tomorrow. Between holiday-related stuff and NaNo, I didn’t actually finish a book this week, for the first time, I think, since I started doing weekly review compilations! Also, maybe I shouldn’t have chosen a 600-page, first-in-a-trilogy fantasy to read this week. I’m more than half done, but yeah, still going to need a day or three for that.

Hopefully, I’ll have everything back on track next week. My plan for December (once I finish #spookyromancenovel) is to take most of the month off writing to let the draft settle. Then, over New Year’s when I’m on my family vacation, I’ll do the first reread and make myself a worldbuilding file, because I was definitely making it all up as I went, and if I do that before starting any kind of rewrite, I’ll have a much more consistent world and an easier time making it that way.

So, I’ll see everybody next Monday when I resume my regular blog schedule. Until then, I’ll be on the couch reading a lot. Gotta have something to review next week, right?

NaNo ’18, Progress Report #3

Daily Word Counts:

  • Day 15: 641
  • Day 16: 921
  • Day 17: 1,621
  • Day 18: 295
  • Day 19: 946
  • Day 20: 8,530
  • Day 21: 761

After another spell of bad days, I sat down Tuesday morning to do an “Xtreme Five Hour Word Marathon,” a tradition on the NaNo forums. I didn’t write straight through, you’re still encouraged to take short breaks, but once I set that timer for five hours, I wouldn’t let myself say man, I’ve written a lot today, I can stop early.

That caught me up completely and got me a whole extra day ahead.

I’m still hopeful I can finish and “win” this NaNo, though I admit, even if I’m super excited by this story, life (and my depression) seem to be conspiring against me finding/making time to write, and it feels harder than previous years.

I’m not quitting, though! I will do this!

NaNo ’18, Progress Report #2

Daily Word Counts:

  • Day 8: 407
  • Day 9: 1,878
  • Day 10: 2,933
  • Day 11: 2,233
  • Day 12: 851
  • Day 13: 2,595
  • Day 14: 698

A much better week overall, especially because I finished the last few Fictober18 prompts!

I’m on track for 50K; my cumulative count at Day 14 is 23,498/23,333, so I am just barely ahead.

Still excited about the story, things are definitely moving along. And one of my lovebirds finally confessed! Slow-burn no more! (Kind of.)

NaNo ’18, Progress Report #1

This should have gone up yesterday, but as you’re about to see, it’s been a rough few days.

Daily Word Counts:

  • Day 1: 2,026
  • Day 2: 2,633
  • Day 3: 2,374
  • Day 4: 2,049
  • Day 5: 237
  • Day 6: 1,796
  • Day 7: 794

It’s not that I’m not excited about the story, because I am. There’s just been a gap the last few days between my excitement and my motivation, including today; I haven’t written a single word on the project yet. [I intend to as soon as I’m done with this, my patented combo dishes-and-writing session where I write in short bursts while my crusty dishes soak in the sink.]

I hate seeing zeroes in my daily log, so this year I’m embracing any progress is progress. Even if that means I force myself to write a hundred words before calling it a day. But I’ve already eaten up my extra-word cushion, which I’ll admit is discouraging this early in the month.

Remember, fellow WriMos–every word is progress!

NaNoWriMo ’18: What I’m Planning, and Also, Sorry I Haven’t Been Around

I got sick last week. Really sick. I had already fallen behind on my usual posting schedule to keep up with Fictober18, and throw an illness in the mix, I was done, I couldn’t keep up with writing, either.

I’m recovering, I’m writing, I’m catching up.

As of yesterday, I’ve written 31,657 words on #spookyromancenovel, my Fictober18 project. That’s far more forward momentum, more quickly, than any other project I’ve attempted in the year+ since I released What We Need to Decide–I guess finishing a novel trilogy can wipe you out a bit. I didn’t recognize that I needed more time to recharge, so I threw myself at a bunch of ideas that didn’t really inspire me, just to feel like I was still being productive.

Now, I’m inspired again. I said early on, because I hoped, that I would take #SPN successfully straight through into NaNo this year. And that’s definitely happening, because I can’t imagine stopping this train in the middle to start another new project three days from now. Nuh-uh, not happening.

So my ideal goal for NaNo is: 100K total, or finish the draft. A lesser and more reasonable goal: 50K just during November, finish the draft in December. I’d be thrilled with the former and happy with the latter.

Because of Fictober18 as well as my illness, I didn’t spend any time prepping (I’m already writing!) but I also didn’t make any prep posts, something I’ve always done before. So here’s various prep/advice posts from previous years:

2015: Learning to Love Word Vomit

2016: Staying Sane; The Care and Feeding of Plot Bunnies; The Post-NaNoWriMo Slump

2017Clean Your Desk; Mind-Mapping Goes Digital

As for posting #SPN scenes, which I’ve been doing for Fictober here on its WIP page, I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll continue during NaNo; I also haven’t decided if I’ll continue to use prompts (or what source I’ll use if I do) once I work through all the Fictober ones. I’ve still got a few days to think about that, and honestly, it could depend on where I leave off in the story on Halloween–if I need extra inspiration to get going on the 1st, prompts all the way!

Camp NaNoWriMo April ’18: Progress Report #1


I’m 5K behind. In my history of NaNo events, this is actually, literally unprecedented.

I blame a few things–busy life, lack of preparation, and lack of discipline. But catching up 5K? Totally doable. I didn’t squeeze as much writing time in yesterday as I would have liked, but I did make time. Instead of looking at how busy my day was and skipping writing entirely, I wrote.

And I’m going to do it again today, and again tomorrow. Writing is going to be a habit again for me, after so many months away from working seriously on anything.

Even if I don’t hit 50K, and I’m confident I will, at least Camp NaNo will be Boot Camp NaNo, where I get myself back in (writing) shape.

NaNoWriMo ’17: Progress Report, Week 4–WINNER!

The week’s word counts:

  • Day 22: 470
  • Day 23: 916
  • Day 24: 1,285 — the winning day, at 50,007!
  • Day 25: 1,210
  • Day 26: 2,143
  • Day 27: 2,532
  • Day 28: 2,020

With two days left to write, my final count will come with the End of the Month Wrap-Up post next week, but I won! And I feel like I’m not even halfway through my story–which is both good and bad, because wow, have I got a lot of plot points left. I think this year I successfully embraced the true spirit of word vomit, and I’m churning out lots of my character’s feelings on the page, which is ALL going to need to be cut.

But the first draft is just me telling myself the story, which I’ve heard before, and this time, I really feel it. I’m going to need to take a long look at the themes and character arcs in this one, but I’ve got a sense of direction now beyond just “romance” and I’m digging it.

As before, I’ll do my best to keep up a NaNo-like pace through December (and January, if necessary) to get the draft done.


I really do love NaNo so much…