The Writing Diaries: NaNoWriMo 2017!

Yes. I’m joining the madness, and I’m doing NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

(Yes, this idea is utter madness. Yet somehow, it keeps pulling me back…)

I’ve only ever managed to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo once. I was at uni – so I had the time – and yet what I produced was so awful I have consigned it to a dusty corner of My Documents, hoping I never stumble across it again. So why am I taking on NaNo again?

Over the summer, when I had more time, I used Camp NaNoWriMo (same challenge, summer edition) to finish a first draft of a book I’ve been working on sporadically for the last two years. I’d taken nine months or so off this draft when I was struggling with it a year or so ago, and in that time I wrote another entire novel. It started off as ‘why do’t I dabble in this for a bit of fun’, and just under a year later I had a 90,000 word draft that had completely taken me by surprise and characters that are now my babies and I refuse to consign to the computer recycling bin because I love them TOO DARN MUCH. I pantser-d the whole thing (pantser: a person who writes with no planning; one who flies by the seat of their pants) and then when I looked back at it properly over the summer, I realised how utterly plot-less my story was, and that it needed a major, almost entire, overhaul.

(FYI, I have axed about 80k of a 90k draft. And I need to get those words back from somewhere. Enter NaNoWriMo!)

I’m challenging myself this month to hit the 25k mark on my second draft. I also cheated and started early (it was half term and I had the time to write!). I’ve also set up a tracker or two in my bullet journal to help me on my way:

nanowrimo tracker 1nanowrimo tracker 2


I’m hoping that the combination of NaNoWriMo, the writing community online (who I am so grateful for for all the amazing things we do to get those words on the page), and accountability – I cannot bear an incomplete bullet journal spread! – will get this second draft well under way. And I’m hoping that writing every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words, will stay with me after NaNoWriMo so this second draft can take shape and I can see what this novel might just turn in to…

Let me know if you are doing NaNoWriMo this month! You can follow me on twitter where I’ll be doing writing sprints most evenings. And lastly, good luck if you are also embarking on this month of madness! I hope you manage to achieve whatever writing goal you have set yourself 🙂

Katherine x

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