Nanowrimo success?

Did you write some words for NaNoWriMo? Whether or not you got to 50k, I’m curious - what worked? What helped you to keep writing?


Coincidental to the NaNoWriMo, I was engaged in writing a novella so I could participate in a free cosy mystery promotion. I did write the 22k novella (yeah, less than half the required 50k but that included both preparation (allowed in NaNoWriMo) and getting cover, blurb and the various editing and re-writing done), then uploaded ready for the free promotion along with 34 other authors. It is now busily gathering people who like cosy mysteries for my email list!


I hit the 50k mark but it was a mess although I think letting myself make a mess was part of what worked for me. Sometimes scenes came out great and other times they were a freewrite disaster. However, centering consistant writing time through the month was huge and really made me realize how I can better honour my own writing practice beyond November.


I decided at the last minute to attempt nano this year. I started slowly, but managed to write daily for close to 2.5 weeks.
On Nov. 9 I became ill and continue to feel poorly. I lost writing steam during the third week of the month. Illness, my entire family in quarantine in extremely close-quarters, and no motivation to continue left me not caring if I continued the project. My total ended up around 17,000 words.
It’s the only year I’ve failed of all the ones I’ve participated. I’m sure I will pick the story up again, after I feel a bit better.

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I hit about 24.8k in the end up. I’m a little bummed that I didn’t make the halfway point, but I managed to write everyday for 30 days straight. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that. So all in all, a successful first attempt :blush:


Good for you! I went to Book Funnel and got your book and signed up for your mailing list. I read mysteries, but not many cozies, though I am writing one (lol), so I’ll enjoy looking at yours. I’m also glad to know about Book Funnel. I also looked at Amazon and am impressed by your work and all your good reviews. You’ve inspired me to get busy!


Thank you! The promo is working beautifully - so far over 200 people have downloaded the freebie novella and thus are now on my email list - all of whom (presumably!) like reading cozies! I couldn’t be more thrilled at the response! Now… how many will want to go on to buy a full price copy of one or more in the series??? :slight_smile:


That’s great! I took a self-publishing course from Geoff Affleck ( and joined his Facebook group for a few weeks. One woman had a lot of experience and success with a nonfiction book that she promoted on Freebooksy, Reading Deals, eReader Girl, and Awesome Gang. I’m not sure if any of these would work for cozies, but they might be worth a look. I think Geoff liked doing ads on Freebooksy. If you are interested, I think he has a program where you can join his Facebook group for about $50 a month (I might be confused about this, but suggest you look at his site or email him – he’s very nice to work with). He holds an hour long weekly meeting with the Facebook group and gives specific advice to people who ask questions about their books and people also share what they are doing and what they’ve experienced. It was a really good group and I plan to join it again when I am ready to publish.

Interesting, Billie. I am running some cheap Amazon ads that are turning a small profit. The BookFunnel group is my first foray into group promotions. They have some group promotions for selling but this one is to promote freebies in order to gather emails from appropriate people. It’s free except for a modest fee to BookFunnel ($10 a month) which only needs paying while actually doing promotions, otherwise it’s free to have a few books on their site ready to give away (for reviews, for instance). It’s a steep learning curve!

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Well, I didn’t hit that 50k, but I did top 17k, and solidified the process I’ve been (unknowingly) using for years. I’m counting it as an amazing win.

I know several teachers who advocate planning the whole novel in one shot, drafting all in one shot (sometimes several times over), and editing… all in one shot. I understand the value of an approach like that, but I’ve tried it… and it didn’t work for me.

I’m part of a writing guild where the guild master is a pantser. He knows where he’s starting and where he’s ending, sometimes some big stuff in between, and that’s it. He composes at the computer. I also see the value in an approach like this. I’ve tried it… and it didn’t work for me either.

So, I combined the two, and came up with something that works for me: plan, draft, edit one section, then move on.

As for what helped me keep writing, I have a white board in my kitchen with every chapter number listed, and every thousand words laid out. That way, I can check off when I accomplish one of those milestones. The visual record of how far I’ve come keeps me going. That, and I love my characters too much not to finish their story.

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Hope you feel better soon! I’ve been dragging during the last couple of months, but a few days ago I perked up and am now back to plotting two novels. Something that seemed to help was a TedTalk I enjoyed by Tomas Pueyo titled Why Stories Captivate. He has a book on Amazon and the table of contents looks good. When I’m ready to read again I’m going to buy it.

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Thanks! It’s wild; I feel sort of okay for little windows of time, then I begin a big coughing fit, or exhaustion simply freeze me in place. Brain fog seems to be a covid symptom, and I’d never truly experienced that before, but have been dealing with it the past few weeks.
I might need to explore and find this TEd talk.
Last night I pecked on a story idea I’m working on, so that’s a step in the right direction.
I hope things continue coming together for you, as well.

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You gave me a laugh with “step in the right direction.” I can so relate to the that!
I hope you are over the worst of the covid stuff. This is from a Dr. Marik of the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine Marik COVID-19 Protocol ( I’m following the precautionary suggestions except for ivermectin (I don’t know what it is and haven’t read of it anywhere else). The other things I have seen recommended in several places. Quercetin is available from a natural food store and is what you get from kale. I would be careful about taking the amount of melatonin he suggests for people with symptoms. I started taking melatonin a couple of weeks ago and just 1mg is a lot, but maybe since you are sick it would affect you differently. I’ve been taking 2 mg and that makes me sleepy after about 15 minutes.
■ Vitamin C 500 mg BID (twice daily) and Quercetin 250 mg daily
■ Vitamin D3 1000-4000 u/day
■ B complex vitamins
■ Zinc 30-50 mg/day
■ Melatonin (slow release): Begin with 0.3mg and increase as tolerated to 2 mg at night
■ Ivermectin for postexposure prophylaxis (200 ug/kg immediately, then repeat on day
3) and prophylaxis in high-risk groups (200 ug/kg day 1, then day 3 and then every 4
Mildly Symptomatic patients (at home):
■ Ivermectin 150-200 ug/kg daily for two doses
■ Vitamin C 500mg BID and Quercetin 250-500 mg BID
■ Vitamin D3 2000 - 4000 u/day
■ B Complex vitamins
■ Zinc 75-100 mg/day
■ Melatonin 6-10 mg at night (the optimal dose is unknown)
■ ASA aspirin 81-325 mg/day (unless contraindicated)
In symptomatic patients, monitoring with home pulse oximetry is recommended.
Ambulatory desaturation below 94% should prompt hospital admission

While I did manage to hit my 100k goal, I didn’t feel great about it.

As a writer, it was the most unpleasant month I’ve had in ten years. Just pain, self-doubt, confusion, feeling like a fraud… All the no-good, shitty-bad vibes. I couldn’t see anything clearly in that story.

So, for all the 100k worth of pre-work and re-work, and the 100k of drool I slammed into the keyboard through November, and the two gut-shucking sessions I had with dev editors… all I had to show for it was a cloud over my head.

But! Going through PPN has helped me untangle some of the knots, and I have hope for a new, fulfilling novel and lighter feelings for 2021. Wish me and my clouds luck!

I’m rooting for you all!

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