Am Writing

Failures & Victories: NaNoWriMo 2015-2017

Happy Monday! For those of you who are enjoying the extended weekend, I hope you are able to have sometime to accomplish to-do lists and time with companions. Today’s blog is part one of a discussion about National Novel Writing Month. Wednesday’s post will be about this years goals based off of what I have learned from the past three years of participating in NaNoWriMo. As a English-writing major and blogger, you can follow me here on WordPress for future posts.
Header photo is of one of my framed NaNoWriMo posters. I also, enjoy owning NaNoWriMo merchandise. I find it quite motivating.

NaNoWriMo for Beginners

National Novel Writing Month is a organization that creates a platform for each person to create a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The math turns out to be 1,667 words per day. Some have used this month to write the novel and then have it published later then next year. You can add friends on the website, and encourage them to keep writing. Some people like to spend October planning, others want to start with a blank canvas.

NaNoWriMo is a wonderful way to learn new time management habits, as well as finding ways to be creative (even at various times in the day).

2015 NaNoWriMo Stats


50,001 words (winner)
Some planning was done, like one week’s worth.
Novel title and description: Little Did They Know. Taking my love for trains, business drama, and family dissent into a novel. The story was about a family of characters who owned a small bank, and one of the sons was tired of working for his father. Leaving Dallas, Texas he is then blackmailed to return.

Where’s the story now? I wasn’t even half way through the story, before I had lost access to the novel. I lost the flash drive at Starbucks in Texas (during the editorial months). Then, my Mac Book died in the summer of 2016. All versions were lost. I was able to find  editorial, author, and story-telling notes I wrote during the novel creation process. If you go through my blog, you can find early snippets of the novel (2015 or 2016, its somewhere on here).

Lesson: Make sure you have as many copies available. Or, invest in Google Drive. Something I’ve used for 2016-2017 writings. Also, I would always update my word count whenever I could. Also, the title Little Did They Know is already taken post 2016. If I were to start this story from scratch, the novel title would be different.

2016 NaNoWriMo Stats - Edited
2016 NaNoWriMo Stats


52,004 words (winner)
Extensive planning was done, at least one to two months worth.

Novel title and description: Tilt. The idea of this novel came from my love for Peter Pan. The idea of being able to go to a island all for you, animals, and plants. This novel requires a lot of science planning, as well as looking into Eco-friendly living habits that would be working efficiently a thousand years from now.

Hazel, lives on the planet, Elia. She’s always been there and one man comes along, altering her world. Picture several worlds colliding between astrology, witchery, and minimalism.Where’s the story now? I haven’t lost this one! I’ve got most of the documents, pictures, and planning documents on Google Drive, as well as a flash drive, that I haven’t lost yet! This story is in limbo at the moment, because of being stuck. Hopefully will get to recreate the story next year.
Lessons: Again, the title is already used for a recent 2017 published book. There’s a thing for too much planning before writing. 

2017 NaNoWriMo Stats


57,438 words (winner)
Novel title and description:
Where’s the story: Most of it is on various documents, but the original is on a few stapled pieces of paper. My heath wasn’t the best this time, so a lot of my word count was from blog writing, and other random ramblings. I plan on letting this one sit for a while, before I return to it.

Lessons: Honestly, rambling isn’t that bad, really. I also realized that I had been spending the past two to three years wasting time with retyping what I wrote each day. It’s a slight habit I have with note taking, but I do have an ideal plan of action around it for 2018.


1. I would say that some of the NaNoWriMo Prep articles I’ve read over the years from the official website to other fellow writers, has allowed me to change my writing style every year. My two favorite pieces of advice that I’ve used every year thus far are treat yourself with rewards at certain milestones and buying the clearance Halloween candy for snacks.

2. Don’t throw away your writings. I’ve learned to condense everything I’ve written on computers to one or two documents, and utilizing Google Drive. Two months before NaNoWriMo in 2016, I bought a Google Chromebook for less than $200 at Best Buy. It’s been functional for the past two years, and that helps a lot. Especially when you have all your work created through typing.

3. Time management is interesting. Last year I slumped a little in this area, but I like figuring out what time management methods work for me. Some daily habits and goal setting happens now, because of testing it out during NaNoWriMo. 

4.Change of pacing, especially where you write. This has been obvious during my return semester here in Oklahoma. I’m not the best at studying in the same room two to three times a week. I enjoy going to different department buildings, and see where  Ian learn best. This past week, that meant walking around campus for an HOUR to see where I wanted to go. I’m working on learning ahead of time where I’m studying, and then sticking with it. Or at least close to it.

Check back with me on Wednesday, when I discuss more advice, as well as discussing goals  I have for this year. Thank you so much for reading this blog today. I enjoy connecting with other future authors, readers, and creative people. 

I’d love to have a mini discussion with you about NaNoWriMo. Will 2018 be your first year participating? If not, what have you learned from past participating years?


6 thoughts on “Failures & Victories: NaNoWriMo 2015-2017”

  1. Actually, you can totally use the same title as another book that’s already been published. Sure, if the book is popular it’s probably not a good idea, but you can absolutely do it. I’ve even read books in short succession with the same titles by different authors. Not important, just wanted to make sure you’re not changing your titles unnecessarily ❤

    Anyway, looks like you've had some great success at NaNo! I've made it to 40,000 during the Camp sessions a few times, but never made it to 50,000.

    Liked by 1 person

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