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5 Things SeptNoWriMo Taught Me about NaNoWriMo

This morning, I broke 60K words on my novel! I was really hoping to have written 65K over the month of September, but let’s stop and be real for a second…

I have 60,000 words written towards my novel, all accomplished in the span of one month! I should really break out the champagne Irish cream to celebrate. Maybe I will.

But what I really want to reflect on is this:

5 Things SeptNoWriMo Taught Me About NaNoWriMo

  1. Writers… write. The age-old cliche is true: writers just have to buckle down and write. Sure, browsing other blogs is important, and Facebook makes me look like a cool kid, but when the rubber hits the road, I have to have my butt in the chair, ignore the cat who’s swatting at my elbow, and write like a madwoman. That’s the only way these words can come out.
  2. Life is manageable. Yes, I work in ministry for 40 hours a week, but if I prioritize, I can find an hour a day to write. Here at the end, I lost my momentum due to a fluke rescheduling party at work, and the last 5K words went with it. But guess what? It’s September 30, and I don’t want to stop writing. In fact, I’m itching to start editing… as soon as I hammer out the last 5 chapters or so.
  3. Find that support team. I would not have finished 60K if it wasn’t for my husband. He’s a writer, too, at his own pace, but he was kind enough to prod me once or twice a week: how many words have you written? What are your characters up to? If I didn’t have that external interest, I wouldn’t have finished. Find someone to bother you, once a week. Accountability is key.
  4. Draft Zero is just that. Some people say that the product of a Writing Month is called a “first draft,” but the hot mess of words sitting on my laptop at home doesn’t deserve the title “First Draft.” It’s definitely “Draft Zero,” and it’s a tangled hot mess. It’s not publishable, and I refuse to let anyone read it until I at least run the spell check and fix all my inconsistencies. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t progress. It’s the first step to becoming a published author, and I’m proud of that.
  5. As much as I want to be, I am not a Pantser. I always wanted to be the cool kid who can “fly by the seat of my pants” and just produce a novel… but that’s not me. The only reason I kept on track and made good progress was because I had an outline I’d refer to, immediately before I wrote. I knew where I was, and where I needed to go. Sure, I changed it up twice throughout the month, but I needed that road map to get me where I’m going. I’m a Planner, and maybe you are, too.

Best of all, I came to this realization: don’t quit everything I start, after all! I’ve regained the confidence I’d lost, after nearly a year of not doing any serious writing. I wasn’t just pretending, years ago, when I wrote. I really am a writer. I really can do this noveling thing. I’m not done yet, but I am making progress towards the future.

My SeptNoWriMo is drawing to a close, and while I’m a little sad to see it go, I’m so proud of my accomplishments!! I intend to finish the rough draft over the next few weeks (read: mid-October) and then get geared up for writing a sequel in November.

Who’s with me?? Hope to see you around NaNoWriMo! Best of luck in your ventures!


6 thoughts on “5 Things SeptNoWriMo Taught Me about NaNoWriMo

  1. While I tend to choose more playful language, i agree with you: writers write. Whether we”re plotters, pantsers, or discoverers, we do best when we’ve got a goal and a sense of how we tick.

    My Accomplice is a chef, not a writer (at ALL!), but both of our kids, ages 12 and 15, dabble in writing, and sometimes like to “talk shop” with me. For accountability, I have ROW80 and my in person NaNo group, which meets Sunday nights, year-round, to do writing sprints and chat. We’ve got a Facebook group, and a small group of us who have formed an associated critique group, too.

    Hooray on those 60K – you only missed your goal by 5k – that’s phenomenal! Awesome! Now you know you can do the 50k NaNo run. =)

    I’d love to reblog this post, if you’re willing to allow me the honor. =)


    1. Sure! I just finished leading a weekend family retreat (which was delightful) so now I can jump back in to writing and finishing that draft… I took most of this past week off to catch up on life. Now… time to plot for NaNo!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our group had a rather rambunctious plotting workshop tonight. I finished my basic character work a month or two back; I’d set it aside until a few days back. Now, I’m moving through the last of the planning, then on to the open-ended plotting. I work best with that – a basic framework, a good strong foundation, and lots of room for my characters to fill in the rest.

        May your plotting go well! =)

        Liked by 1 person

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