Chasing a Dream
Comments 6

NaNoWriMo Tales 1: The First Week

It’s the end of my first week of NaNo-writing — or the start of my second, if you’d rather — and thus far, I have a grand total of…(drumroll)…11,535 words. It’s nothing to scoff at, but it’s not exactly near the 18,337 word count that I should have by now.

You might ask: if I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, why am I wasting my time writing in my blog?

I suppose the best answer would be that this serves as some sort of a warm-up exercise for me to get the my fingers tapping away at the keyboard and my brain juice flowing. As of this moment, the thoughts and words come in trickles rather than the much-anticipated torrents. I haven’t even started the real action in my story yet already I’ve come across that major villain called writer’s block. And my God, it’s a big one. So big that I’m actually considering doing an entire rewrite…which would probably amount to NaNo-suicide as that would mean starting off with nada once again.

Nope, I don’t think I can do that.

It boils down to me figuring out some way to salvage what thready points I have in my plot so that I’ll still manage to make a semi-sensible, grudgingly complete first draft by the stroke of midnight on December first. Then it’ll be hello to a heck of a lot of rethinking, revising and rewriting. At least I’ll know my character more by then and will hopefully have figured out the real direction I want them to go.

Just after typing that, I realized that on December first, I’ll be attending a talk on publishing a book. It was initially set for yesterday, but the organizers had to reschedule. How serendipitous is that? I find myself thankful for the change of plans, as hopefully, this talk will get me pumped up about editing my novel and seeing it to the finish line — getting it published.

My friend told me yesterday that she was surprised when I gave my reason for turning down her invite to Sagada. I told her I couldn’t go this month because I was in the process of writing my novel. She wasn’t surprised by the fact that I was writing, as she’s always known that that was what I wanted to do. She was surprised that I was actually talking about it. Apparently, I used to change the topic whenever we’d broach the subject of my writing. Now, I’m volunteering information about it and am even asking for her input. In her words, I’m finally claiming it and she’s supporting me all the way.

Hear me, world — this is me claiming that e-book, paperback and hardbound with my name on it. Come hell or high water, whether I win this year’s NaNoWriMo or end up taking more than a month to write that first draft, I’ll see my paperback on the shelves of my local bookstore and beyond.

I better get back to it, then. (sings, “just keep writing, just keep writing…”)


// Featured image c/o


  1. My advice – from someone who hasn’t ever done a nanowrimo before, but I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts – is don’t look back. Tell yourself that this is going to be a messy first draft and plow forward. If you get to a spot where you’re stuck, leave yourself a note and skip forward to an easier spot to write. Nanowrimo is all about writing, not about perfect writing, so allow your writing to suck and trust that when you come back and start editing it in December it’ll get better.

    I recommend listening to the podcast, ‘I should be writing.’

    • Hi dowhilenot, that’s exactly what I did–I skipped over my troublesome chapter and now, my writing’s moving along pretty well. Thanks so much for your advice. I’ll definitely check out that podcast. BTW, I dropped by your site–I love your short story concept for NaNoWriMo 🙂 Here’s hoping that it’ll be a productive month for us!

  2. Solutions to writers’ block:
    – Throw in a murder (doesn’t have to work in the long run, but it might just get you writing)
    – Use […] and come back to fill in the gaps later
    – Throw in something completely unexpected and start writing from there.
    – Pick a scene much later on and write that, then try and work out how you get from A to B.

    That is all I have. Hope it helps.

    • Hi caroljforrester!

      Hmm, a murder, huh? Maybe I’ll try to work it in somehow…That’ll definitely put an unexpected twist to my story. You’ve gotten me hooked on that idea. Thanks for the tips, it helps to know that it’s normal to skip chapters when writing. Checked your site also–hopefully this year, we’ll both hit that 50k word count by December 🙂

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