Let’s look at some of my NaNoWriMo charts

I love all the graphs and charts NaNoWriMo gives us to track our month of writing so I thought I’d share some of mine with you.


I won NaNoWriMo this year which felt pretty great after not getting anywhere close last year. However, as soon as I realized I’d hit that 50k goal I lost all my momentum. As soon as I finished that thought, I was done for the night.

I was really, really consistent for the first few days of the month. I shocked myself with my consistency. I don’t think I’ve ever pulled that off before and I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2006.

I had a couple rough patches though the month but I was lucky enough to find the time and energy to make up for the days I could barely write.

This chart makes it really clear which days were my bad days. Some of these days I could barely stand looking at screens because I had a migraine. I was unlucky enough to have two migraines during November. Two of my bad writing days were because I was lucky enough to spend time with friends so at least those days weren’t bad overall.

Here’s a different view of the same stats. Things were really up and down in the middle of the month!

This statistic is pretty accurate, but I’d probably say I write the most between 9PM and 12AM. However, I wrote a lot more during the day this year than I had in the past. I tended to update the NaNoWriMo site around 11PM each night and then scramble to write enough to get caught up or as close to caught up as I could by midnight. Most nights once midnight hit I was done writing and started to wind down and get ready for bed.

Happy Thanksgiving (and final days of NaNoWriMo)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today and happy Thursday to everyone else!

I’m thankful for all of you and all my writing friends across the internet.

We’re in the final stretch of NaNoWriMo for this year. I’m behind again, which is normal. I’m actually less behind than I am most years at this time. That gives me hope for winning this month.

Hopefully everyone else writing this month is on track to win. If you have a long holiday weekend I hope you are able to use some of that time to write.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

It’s NaNoEve. Hopefully we can all get our hands on some candy or other treats to hoard and use as writing rewards during November.

I’ll be spending the day alternating between frantic last minute outlining and trying to relax so I have energy left to write at midnight. This year I am planning to start at midnight. If I manage to nap this afternoon I might even get a decent chunk of writing done then before I need to sleep.

NaNoWriMo is already starting around the world. I know I’m going to get swept up in the energy of thousands of people on the other side of the world diving into the novels and reaching amazing word counts.

Now I need to get back to planning this story before the characters run amuck.

Last Minute NaNoPrep

There’s about a day and a half left before the start of NaNoWriMo!

At the point of my last post I was optimistic. I had a week to go, plenty of ideas, and more than enough time to sketch out a rough outline with some scene cards in Scrivener.

I hadn’t counted on a migraine disrupting most of my week. Even after I was able to sit at my desk again without pain I found it hard to find the focus I needed to produce something coherent. I lost a couple days waiting for that brain fog to pass.

It finally got a bit better last night. Now I’m playing catch up. What I thought would be a whole week of dedicated preparation is going to be less than half that.

I’m not going to let this stop me. I’ve dived into NaNoWriMo with less of an idea of what I’m writing than this.

My biggest concern now is getting back to 100% before the writing starts. I can outline as I go if I have to, but I can’t get that far if I don’t have the strength and focus to get the writing done.

It’s not an ideal situation, but I believe I can work with what I’ve got. I’ve been more and less prepared than this in the past and every November has its unique problems. This year won’t be any different.

How’s your last minute NaNoPrep going? Are you a pantser just resting up before the writing starts?

Let’s be NaNoBuddies! I’ll be hanging out over on NaNoWriMo and Twitter all month.

Writing Break Update/NaNoWriMo is Coming!

After two weeks of playing games and watching shows, I started working on my NaNoWriMo project on Thursday. Most of that first day was spent looking up names for characters. Usually I have a great time doing stuff like that but I was a little frustrated because these characters already had names for years. I just didn’t like them anymore.

Once everyone had names, I got to work on creating character profiles/reference sheets. I want to have a clear idea of everyone’s goals and a way to reference things like age and appearance so I’m not making it up as a go multiple times during NaNoWriMo.

For this story in particular, this character information is even more important than outlining the story. I know this story. I’ve written some version of it before. There are plenty of things I want to change this time around, but the general plot is staying the same. I will be doing some outlining after the character profiles are done, but I know that keeping the character motivations in mind and consistent will help the plot work out more than anything.

I have plenty of work to do this week but it is work I’m excited to do. This year’s NaNoWriMo is going to be great! I have a ton of confidence. This year will be another win.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? We should be buddies! Add me so we can write together next month!

NaNoWriMo 2020 Wrap Up


I tried, but writing 50,000 words in November just wasn’t meant to be this year. This whole year has been strange and upsetting. It made for a unique set of challenges for everyone when it came to tackling 50,000 words in a month.

At the start of the month I felt pretty confident. I reached my goal during Camp NaNoWriMo back in July for the first time ever. I’d won NaNoWriMo multiple times in the past. It shouldn’t be that different this year. Even with the pandemic. Even with the election…

I was so wrong.

The first cracks in my writing foundation showed up before November even started. Towards the end of October my best friend’s brother attempted to take his life and ended up in a vegetative state. I’ve known him for 24 years, almost as long as I’ve been best friends with his sister. I was shaken by the news, but I ended up feeling angry, upset and hurt on my best friend’s behalf for the first few weeks without really processing it for myself.

Obviously, I was kidding myself by thinking I was okay at the start of November.

I wrote. Everything seemed to be going about as well as usual. I always fall behind in the first two weeks of the month. I’m a procrastinator so needing to catch up in the final days is just the way I work. I thought I was doing great with my writing all things considered.

Then on November 22nd my grandpa died. He was 92, but I wasn’t ready. I fell apart. If I’m honest, I’m still in pieces. Since then I’ve been lucky if I have an hour or two a day when I feel okay enough to get off autopilot. Instead of increasing my writing output, I struggled to function well enough to write at all.

My best friend’s brother passed away on the 27th. I stopped functioning altogether again.

I always debate how much of my personal life to share online and through this blog in particular. When it comes to writing struggles it can be really hard to be real and honest about why writing is difficult without exposing the lowest points in my personal life on the internet.

Most of the time I hesitate to share because I feel like someone will interpret it as looking for excuses to avoid writing. I worry someone will tell me what I’ve experienced isn’t that bad or they’ve written through worse. I trust my friends and even my internet acquaintances to be more compassionate than that, but this blog is public and the internet has plenty of strangers ready to kick someone when they’re down.

I shouldn’t worry about that. Ever. We shouldn’t constantly put off writing until circumstances are ideal because ideal circumstances don’t exist. Most writing happens under “good enough” circumstances, but things have been nowhere near “good enough” for me lately.

Writing can be cathartic, but it’s also okay not to be okay enough to write it out. I’m not okay enough right now. I keep trying because that’s just the type of person I am. If I want something and it doesn’t come easily, I throw a couple tons of stubbornness at it until I either figure out how to make it work or things get better on their own.

If you’re not okay enough to write, you don’t have to be like me. Not everyone finds it easier to sleep at night after running into a metaphorical brick wall a few times. However, if you think you might be in a mental place where writing could help, please give it a try. It doesn’t have to be good or even make sense, as long as you feel better once you wrote it.

A lot of times when I fail one of these writing events I like to reflect and share what I learned from the experience. This time I don’t think I learned much at all about myself as a writer. My failure during NaNo didn’t result from poor time management, lack of plot, or undeveloped characters. Sometimes life just sucks and we need to set our work, our hobbies, our passions aside for a while.

I’m not okay but eventually I will be okay again.