NaNoWriMo Thoughts and Wrap-Up

Dear Reader,

Thank you for following along with as I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. I am an official winner with 50,218 words total. I was in danger of not being able to finish on time as of the morning of November 29th. But, in the final two days, I wrote over 10,000 words. I was determined to finish successfully, and I do work better under pressure. So, mission complete and I have a draft for my fourth book. At my moment I envision it will be book one in a new series.

What I learned from NaNoWriMo.  First, Scrivener works better on a mac. I have both an Apple laptop and an HP laptop, a surface pro. Don’t even try using Scrivener on a Surface. I also have tried not using Scrivener and just using Word. And being a pantser (writing without outlining or other pre-writing organization) Scriven helps me at least some semblance of pre-planning my story which does help. I can put character profiles with pictures in the same place that can be easily accessed for reference. I can make note cards rather than an outline, write scenes as they come to me and easily reorder them later. So I have switched back to using my MacBook full time. I also, enjoy using iMovie for making book trailers but that is outside of my NaNoWriMo experience.

Second I learned, or rather had re-enforced is that I work better and looming deadline. Tell me I have 30 days to do something and it will take me all 30 days, so I need to set shorter goals for myself. I managed 10,110 in two days, 8,000 of those words were written on the 30th. So I had to sit back and think. Wow, I worked my day job both days and still managed to write 8,000 words in one day. Plus, still, have family time and dinner etc. Why don’t I do that all the time? If I can even boost it to 10,000 words a day imagine how much my productivity will increase. So lesson learned “get it done.” Now, admittedly I didn’t blog on the 29th because I was writing so, need to have a more set schedule for doing social media tasks like blogging. My facebook, twitter and Instagram book-related posts are prescheduled. I set them usually on Sundays for the upcoming week. I do post other items as they come up during the week on those platforms. I use Buffer to pre-schedule my social media posts. I do not pre-schedule my blot posts those I write and post in real time.

Third,  I learned is Scrivener has a voice to text feature. I need to try that and see how accurate that is going to be. My first test of it was not that successful, but I wasn’t using a dedicated microphone. And I was at work so I was talking quietly so no one would hear me. I want to try it again in a more private setting to see if the speech recognition is any better. I hope so because that could potentially allow me to get more words in a day.

Fourth, I learned was even though you may be writing to a deadline or in crunch time. You need to take time for yourself. Go to a museum or otherwise walk away from your work. It is healthy for your body but also your mind. Seemingly unrelated activities can help spark creative ideas. One of my favorite places to go for inspiration is the Mariner’s Museum. Where I live we have a motto of ‘From the Sea to the Stars’ and that couldn’t be truer at the Mariner’s Museum. Seeing the restoration of the Monitor and related artifacts, the history of cruise liners like the Titanic and various sailing vessels both old and recent high-tech like the Oracle sailing team boat and America’s Cup provides me with a ton of inspiration.

The take-away from the November challenge is to challenge myself every day to improve my writing and productivity. My next challenge is to write 3,000 a day this week. If I can meet that challenge I will increase my personal goal the following week.

I hope you have enjoyed following along and if you haven’t already sign-up for my monthly newsletter for freebies and advance notice and access to my work.

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Day 28

We’re getting down to the wire dear Reader,

It’s the final two days of NaNoWriMo. I work better under pressure. Today I typed over 4,000 words. and I have 10,110 words to go to complete my goal of 50,000 in 30 days. So there are going to be some marathon sessions for the next couple of days. Stay tuned because you don’t want to miss it! It’s going to be a nail better.

In the meantime, I am working on the audio files for Gray’s Requiem to be available on audible and putting together the final November newsletter which is going to have a book trailer sneak peek so if you haven’t signed up yet, make sure do so you can get all sorts of cool stuff before everyone else! Newsletter.

Hang on we are almost there.


Day 27

Dear Reader,

It is 10:53p.m. as I write this. It took me a while to hit my word count today but I did finally only four days left. I am determined to complete the challenge.

I was listening to the Sci/Fi Fantasy podcast during my commute today and heard Nick Erik talking about his experience when he got started as an indie. His story is so inspiring because he is not the overnight success story that you tend to hear about. His story is very much how my career is beginning. If you are starting out. I encourage you to listen to him because I think his experience is very similar to the majority of us who are just getting started. I think you will be able to relate very closely to his experiences but more importantly, because his experience is so close to many of us I think there is a lot to be learned from him.

Check out the podcast on youtube.

The weather is cold here this week. I hope where ever you are you are having better weather.



Day 25

Hello Dear Reader,

Well, it is Sunday night and tomorrow it is back to work at my day job. I’m not looking forward to it as my Monday is already packed with meetings and catching up on emails from the four day weekend.

I have been productive with my writing than I thought I would be considering the holiday with cooking, cleaning and decorating. But, it still isn’t as productive as I had hoped. I’m stuck at the moment on where to go next with the story. Hazards of being a pantser, but trying to plan everything out produces more writer’s block than this little situation I am in at the moment. But it will work out. It always does.

I took a break yesterday and decided a change of scenery was in order. Check some of the cute little critters I visited with yesterday.


Day 19

Dear Reader,

I can’t even begin to describe how insane my day was a work today. A continuation of the problem that developed last week that resulted in my having to work this weekend and all the email and phone call I received. I didn’t take a lunch break today so consequently, I didn’t get any writing done until tonight around 10pm. But, I did get 1126 words in before I started to feel the effects of a long day.  I didn’t make it to the 25000-word milestone and earned my badge. So all in all not so bad.

Have you heard about all the interesting things happening with authors Amazon accounts? If not jog on over and listen to the Creative Penn podcast with Joanna Penn. I enjoyed her take on the situation and possible solutions.

We are only a couple of days away from the Thanksgiving holiday and long weekend. It can’t get here soon enough. I’m looking forward to it.

What are your plans for the holiday? drop me a line or send me a picture of your holiday get together.