A Nano NaNoWriMo

Shut Up & Write! Writing at NaNoWriMo November Writing Challenge

My last NaNoWriMo was amazing. I wrote 57,000 words in thirty days! I’d never felt so focused and determined when it came to my own writing process and I couldn’t imagine ever losing that feeling. But shortly after that, I found out I was pregnant. Two years have passed, and while having and raising my daughter is a wonderful experience, I haven’t written a thing in all that time (journaling notwithstanding). I need some help getting back into the groove. Sign me up, NaNoWriMo!

Hang on a minute. That inspired battle cry was just assaulted by vivid memories of what writing 1,667 words a day really takes. In 2016, I had the time. As a new mom, yikes… What I really want is to get back in the habit of writing every day, and NaNoWriMo is the perfect challenge for that IF I make a few modifications.

So here it is. I am not going for 50,000 words – high praise to all of you who are, you got this! – but I’m shooting for something a little more modest and approachable. I expect that I’ll be able to do most of my writing at night, once my young baby goes to sleep, but I haven’t written in ages. So, my usual 1,000 words an hour will probably be much slower. What I can commit to doing is 500 words a day, minimum. That would still give me 15,000 words by the end of the month.

It’s not fancy, but it’s writing.

That was the promise I made to myself. 500 words a day. A nano NaNoWriMo.

So how am I doing, you might ask? We’re a week in and I’m up at 7,403 words… Not too shabby, right? Because while writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is a huge accomplishment, what matters is showing up and writing.

How about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s going!

Published by Catherine Ellsworth

Catherine Ellsworth is currently working on a science-fiction novel and runs a monthly critique group in the Bay Area. When not writing and reading, she eavesdrops on commuter conversations, monitors the development of AI, and fantasizes about living on other planets.

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