NaNoWriMo isn’t getting much of my attention this November

The holiday season is closing in on us, and I find myself wondering just where 2023 went.

My attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is failing but with grandbaby #2 on the way soon, I have been helping my daughter a lot this month. I can write anytime; family comes first.

In addition to that I have been working on increasing the numbers of my free crafting community on Skool, plus I have created a paid community for information product creators. Both have kept me busy in the evenings.

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Attempting NaNo this year was not the wisest thing for me to do but it has gotten me to write a little more than I would have otherwise. And being the pantser that I am, I think it’s going alright story-wise. I’ll have some time to write over the next couple of days so I should be able to add a few thousand words to my word count.

Something I have learned other years while doing NaNo is to not try to cram too much writing in all in one day. It can cause temporary burnout, especially if forced.

Something else I have learned is the story flows easier if there’s at least a general plan. This year I had a plan, then switched at the last minute. I know where I want the story to go, but am having a little trouble with the setting. I know it’ll all fall into place as soon as I dedicate some time to it.

I thought NaNo would be a good way to get back into writing fiction. As many of you know, I’ve been at a standstill with it since Ross passed away. I think it’s a combination of things, with one being I had a more regular schedule then. I’d make myself fit in writing time after work or on weekends.

Now that I have more time to write it seems as if I’m writing less. I lost my biggest supporter when he passed, and that is playing a part in it as well. He used to tease me about being a kept man when I became a famous author. Not only have I not reached that point yet, but he is no longer here to enjoy the fame with if it ever happens. (Life has moved forward but the missing him will never stop.)

I used to use Scrivener for my writing but have realized that using Google Docs is more practical. When all I had was a desktop Scrivener was the logical choice. However, now that I use my desktop, laptop, and iPad, Google Docs makes it much easier to get some words in here and there.

Not only is it practical for my books, it’s also perfect for my articles and courses I’m working on for my info product hub. I can brainstorm on my iPad before bed and then sort out the ideas into separate documents the next morning.

Before I go let me recap what I’ve learned by doing NaNo (plus a couple other tips):

  1. Don’t try to write more than your brain can handle in one day.
  2. Use a cloud-based word processor so you can write on the go. Be sure it has the capability to save offline as well.
  3. Have a plan; at least to some degree. Pantsing is okay, but plotting it out is better.
  4. Take breaks when writing. Remember to eat, and have a bottle of water nearby so you stay hydrated.
  5. And last but not least, follow the characters wherever they take you. I have had a lot more fun writing when I let the characters determine where they were going.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year are you ahead, on par, or falling behind (like me)? Let me know in the comments.

Author: Diane Ziomek

I am a mom, grandma, independent author/publisher, freelance writer, fiber artist, and information product creator. I like to share what I have learned with others over the years, in hopes of making their lives easier and more lucrative. My published works can be found on most ebook platforms, as well as on my website. I also have two just-for-fun websites: one about gardening where I share information about plants, how-to's, and gardening in a cold climate, and the other to document my journey to a healthier me by practicing yoga and low-impact exercise.

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