I Wrote A Book During NaNoWriMo


I read ALOT. Though, I’ve always enjoyed the writing aspect of books, too. So, this year, for the first time ever in my life, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it’s basically this nonprofit organization that supports people learning how to write novels (This is the official website if you want to check it out for yourself). They do this by providing free resources on a website for the month of November, and then you can pick and choose what you want to participate in during that month. The “Dinasaur novel” (basically the ultimate goal of NaNoWriMo) is to write 50,000 words, but there’s lots of other stuff you can do, too.

I went into this goal pretty blindly, though I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for many years. I have a 4-year degree in writing, and I’ve always wanted to sit down and write a book, but for some reason it never really happened for me. Either my ideas weren’t fleshed out well (or I had no ideas at all), or sometimes I struggled to be consistent. A few times I even stopped writing all together because I felt like a bit of an imposter. I felt like my writing just wasn’t good.

But, this year, I was determined. I set a few goals for myself:

  • First, I was going to shoot for 50,000 words. It’s okay if I didn’t make it in time, but that was my goal.
  • Second, no matter what, I wasn’t allowed to go back and edit before I finished the book. No matter how tempting (And boy, was it tempting!).
  • Third, even if I felt like an imposter, or if I felt like my work wasn’t good, I was going to keep going. I made a commitment, and I was going to stick to it. I gave myself a few days for mental breaks, but in general, I wrote around 2 hours every day.

What I Learned Through The Process

I really wasn’t sure that I was going to come out of NaNoWriMo with a finished manuscript, and I didn’t. However, I did get to 50,000 words on my last day, and I finished my book around the second week of December. As I write this (the last week of December), I’ve given my book two weeks to rest, and I will be starting to edit next week.

Something I found really interesting about this process is that, when I started, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I felt like I was writing a terrible book. I didn’t love anything I put down on the page. But, I kept going because I made a promise to myself. And I found, once I stopped really caring about each individual word, the writing started to flow better, and soon enough, I was as wrapped up in my writing as when I read.

Another interesting thing I learned during NaNoWriMo that I hadn’t expected was the enormous community of writers that are out there going through the same exact process. And, not necessarily just on the NaNoWriMo website, but on TikTok and Instagram and YouTube. I found so many like-minded individuals on TikTok that were sharing their experiences, day by day, maybe only getting a few likes on their videos, but reaching exactly the right audience (aka, me, the procrastinator).

And lastly, I also learned that there are a TON of great writing books out there that aren’t necessarily writing books. I’m not talking about chapter-by-chapter books that talk you through the process, but instead, books that go day by day, or thesauruses specifically made for dialogue or expressions (let me know if anyone is interested in a book recommendation post about those). I found these tools to be so useful during the writing process, especially when I was stuck, or using the same words over and over again.

What’s My Book About?

So, at this point in my blog, I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world my book is about–and I’d love to share it with you! I will say that my book takes place in the Shetland Isles in Scotland, where a bit of folklore reaches my main character, who doesn’t quite believe in anything beyond what’s in front of her own eyes. She’s grown up her whole life, unsupported by her mother, when she receives some mysterious information that brings her back to the center of the drama, the magic, and Scotland.

While this is as much as I can share about the story for now, I promise that a more detailed synopsis will be coming soon with a cover release, as well! When these two things are available, pre-orders will be linked for purchase if you’re interested in learning more about my book and reading it for yourself.

In the meantime, I’ll be busy reading up about the different between self-publishing and traditional publishing. So, if anyone on #writertok just so happens to find their way here, be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on which option you think I should explore and why.

In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list and check out my book blog page for the latest and greatest book-related information!

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