Off and Running #NaNoWriMo

Happy Monday, SEers!  It’s day two of the November write-a-thon known as NaNoWriMo.

water splashIf you’re participating, no doubt you geared up for yesterday and made a huge splash with your word count. Go you!

At the same time, pace yourself. The danger with any race, especially a long-distance event, is burning out too soon. As someone who has done NaNo several times, I put the bulk of my energy up front. I’m one of those writers who burst from the gate with a bullet of speed. My first day word count in 2019 was 9,037. Pretty impressive, huh? (I’m writing this post ahead of time,  prior to November 1, 2020 when, hopefully, I knock it out of the ballpark again).

But like the hare and the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race. It doesn’t matter how splashy your entrance, only that you cross the finish line.

tortoise in grass fieldHow do you assure you get there?

Remember why you committed to NaNo in the first place. You challenged yourself to write 50K in thirty days. You’re in it for the long haul. Keep those words in mind—long haul.  Right now everything is sparkly and exciting, easy to embrace. We’re in the rah-rah phase of NaNo. Should you get stuck in the days ahead, below are some tips to help you through:

  • You can have a day with zero or below target word count and make it up later. There will be many days when you exceed your daily word count. Those are wins. Allow yourself some losses.
  • Remind yourself why you chose to do NaNo in the first place. Whether you’re working on a book from scratch or adding to a WIP, you challenged yourself to a writing goal. That takes dedication. You’re off to an excellent start.
  • Keep your writing adrenaline pumped. Blog about your progress. Share tweets and follow the #NaNoWriMo hashtag. Check in with your NaNo buddies and share your daily word count successes.
  • Follow the encouragement posts on the NaNoWriMo website. Visit the forums. You are not in this alone!

I know it’s early yet, but I am behind you if you’re participating. I hope you’re having an awesome second day of writing. I’d love to hear about your progress in the comments. If you aren’t doing NaNo, tell me what you are working on. Let’s support each other with our WIPS!

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

77 thoughts on “Off and Running #NaNoWriMo

  1. Sorry I’m late! Congrats, Mae. 9K+ words in one day is IMPRESSIVE. I’m sure you knocked it out of the park this year, too. Are you writing a mystery/thriller? Cheering you on!

    I’ve spent so much time launching my new book, my word count is practically nil these last few days, unless you count blog posts. My WIP is a new true crime book about a lone female serial killer who murdered across the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York. What truly sets her apart from other killers was the way she killed. Mind-blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sue. I don’t think I’ll ever hit that 9K+ again but it was great to do it once. I just updated my day three progress for NaNo and I’m at 12K+. I’ll take it 🙂

      It’s so hard squeezing in writing time when doing promo, but I know you’ll get in the groove. Your new WIP sounds intriguing. It’s especially interesting given the distance between Wisconsin compared to PA and NY. I have my thoughts about that, but will be looking forward to the finished product. True crime is your forte!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck, Mae. I’ve only done it once a few years back and succeeded and enjoyed it, but I’m not sure if and when I might try again. My only attempt was the third book in a trilogy and that made it quite straightforward, as I knew the characters and I knew where the story was going. All the best to all the participants!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you gave it a whirl, Olga. It sounds like you had a fun time, and coming out with a “win” is always a plus. Last year, I started something new for NaNo, and although I won, it was a complete disaster. This year, I’m picking up in the middle of a WIP, and hoping that having established characters and background (not to mention half of the story done) will propel me to the finish line. Fingers crossed. I’m cheering on all the participants.
      Thanks for the well wishes!

      Like

  3. Congratulations, Mae, on entering NaNoWriMo. I haven’t ever done it. I am an OCD perfectionist and this just won’t work for me. I am editing the printers proof of A Ghost and His Gold 70 pages down so far, and working on two stories, one about the pink and white terraces in New Zealand and one about the Radium Girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely have to turn off perfection for NaNo, Robbie. November is the only time of year I’m able to do that. Otherwise, I’m OCD about perfection too. I edit as I write, so by the time I finish the first draft of any manuscript, it’s pretty much polished the way I want it. Come November though, all bets are off, and I embrace running freestyle 🙂

      It sounds like you are very busy with a lot of different projects. I admire those who can work on writing more than one story at a time. I’ve never been able to develop that knack. Wishing you all the best with all three projects!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Off and Running #NaNoWriMo #WritingTips #AuthorsHelpingAuthors – Waterstone Way

  5. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Mae Clair is off and running today with a post on Story Empire filled with tips for those of you who are taking part in NaNoWriMo this month. And some of her advice works for those of us who aren’t, too. Stop by to check it out and wish Mae well on her venture. And be sure to pass the post along so other might find it helpful, as well, thanks! Good luck, Mae! You’ve GOT this! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your enthusiasm is catching. I’m not in NaNo, but it still inspires me. I’m getting close to the halfway point in my 7th Jazzi mystery, and I don’t want to sag like I’m always tempted to do:) You’re great at cheering other people on, so I hope NaNo gives you the same amount of support and motivation. Go, Mae! I’m looking forward to reading your finished book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those middles are tough, Judi. I know I’m going to have to focus on my own tips for finishing when I hit the middle of this month. I’m already at the middle of my WIP, but NaNo is giving me fresh steam to tackle it. So far, I’m off to a good start. Thank you for the well wishes, and congratulations on being halfway done with the 7th Jazzi novel. I’m cheering you on, too. By now, you know those characters like family. And I feel like I do, too 🙂
      Can’t wait to read yours as well. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I did NaNo two years ago and finished it. I’m a cheerleader this year. I’ll be traveling and visiting my granddaughters the last 1/3 on the month. Congratulations to everyone who takes part in the NaNoWriNo this year. I’ve read all the emails from NaNo since September and downloaded the plot generators, etc. I’ll be ready for 2021.

    Congratulations to all your successes in the past years and a good start this year, Mae. Thank you for this post.💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Miriam! I hope you have an awesome time with your granddaughters. What a wonderful way to end the month.
      Thank you for the well wishes and the cheers for all the NaNo participants. So glad you’re looking forward to participating in 2021. It’s exciting event every November, and I hope to participate next year again as well!

      Like

      • I think I’ll be well prepared in 2021, Mae. I have several stories and I like to plan them well in creating the characters.

        I have to be flexible the next two months with my family and other social events because of the Covid. Hopefully next year the Covid is over and I feel free to manage the things I do.

        You said your first NaNoWriNo landed in a contract. I’m curious about that. Is it a traditional publishing? Do all of your books have contracts?

        Do worry to answer my questions if you’re busy. Tell me more later.

        Best wishes to you!! 🎶💞✒️📖

        Like

      • You sound like a good planner, Miriam. I’m still trying to find my way there. Like you, I hope this wretched COVID will be behind us in 2021, and we can all embrace life again.

        As for your question, my first “win” with NaNo, resulted in the first book of my Point Pleasant trilogy. I wrote a little over 50K of A Thousand Yesteryears during NaNo, then added another 30K eight months later and shipped it off to my publisher. It was accepted, and generated a contract for a three book series. Since I started writing in 2012, I’ve had nine books released through a publisher, one indie novel, and three indie novellas. I’ve also had several short stories that appeared in indie anthologies. The book I’m working on now I hope to shop around to agents. While I’m doing that I will probably work on an indie novel. It’s a story that has languished for decades and I know it will never fit with a publisher due to the array of characters and odd mesh of genre. That often seems to be my problem, LOL.

        Like

  8. I’m not even attempting NaNo, Mae. (Nor have I ever been brave enough to do so.) I have that kind of contrary nature where if I know I have to do something, it will be the very last thing I want to do, so I am pretty sure that NaNo wouldn’t work for me. The very idea of making writing something I have to do, instead of something I can’t wait to do, stops me cold. However, having said that, I actually ENVY those of you who take on this challenge with your whole hearts and do such fabulous things. I admire you greatly for that kind of dedication and commitment. And I am wishing you fantastic success. It’s an admirable goal and a great concept for those who accept the challenge. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to give it a go, but even my tiny little decision to write for three hours every morning is already becoming less enjoyable than just writing when I want to is. (That’s obviously a psychological issue I’ve never managed to sort out.)

    I’m so happy to see YOUR excitement, and I’m in your corner, all the way! You go, girl! ROCK IT! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL! Thanks, Marcia. Fingers crossed I do rocket. My first day word count this year was only 4467, but that’s over and above what I need if I write every day for 30 days. Problem is, I know I’ll never pull off writing every day. I’ll have to squeeze it in here and there and pull off larger word counts than the 1167 required of me. It is definitely a challenge, but also fun to do. I’m still hoping I come out of this month with a finished WIP, but it’s a long road ahead.

      Even though you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you plenty of visits from your muse with your own writing. I know you’ll rock it to!! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Good luck to all who are participating! I am working on editing/revising an old WIP. I have also brought out my journal for Drake’s story. I am hoping to make a commitment to write a little bit of his story every day. It isn’t exactly NaNoWriMo standards, but it is more of a commitment than I’ve given him in the past couple years. Hopefully, this will inspire me to finally finish his story. Fingers crossed! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • That’s awesome, Noelle. Even without participating in the NaNoWriMo event, you’re challenging that energy into your own writing commitment. That’s what it’s all about. Getting words down and making progress. My NaNo project is a WIP that has been languishing for two years, so I can fully relate to how you feel about finishing your story. I want to do the same. Good luck to both of us!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m not doing it this year, but wishing the best of luck to all who do. I’m currently finishing the novel that I wrote during last year’s NaNo. I put it aside for months without working on it. In the home stretch now.

    Liked by 7 people

    • That’s fantastic, Joan. I set my first NaNo “win” aside for eight months before going back and finishing it. That book, A Thousand Yesteryears, became the first of my Point Pleasant Series, with the bulk of it written during NaNoWriMo. The event is definitely a great launching pad. Wishing you all the best with finishing up your novel. Woohoo!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jill, given the successes you’ve had in the past with NaNo, I have no doubt you’ll make it up and come out a winner again. Here’s hoping you can wrap your edits quickly and make up your lost NaNo days. Cheering you on!
      Many thanks for the good luck wishes, too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Excellent post, Mae. I had hoped to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but life had other plans. I’m now targeting 2021! Thanks for the encouragement and wise advice. ☺

    Liked by 5 people

    • Gwen, I’m sorry this year didn’t work out for you with NaNo, but I’m excited that you’re interested in the idea and planning for next year. In the meantime, there are a ton of resources on the NaNoWriMo website to help with our writing every month of the year. I’m cheering you on with your own writing whenever you put fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  12. I won’t be doing NaNo this year, as I’m trying to conserve my energy. However, I’m having fun making digital products like planners and stickers. The digital artwork and design is stuff I can do for rest and fun for a little while, then I revert to reading while reclining. Getting lots of good books in! Best of luck with NaNo, Mae 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve seen a number of your digital artwork pieces, Harmony, and they’re awesome. I’m glad you’re able to work on those (and read) while conserving your energy. Rest up, take care, and many thanks for the good wishes. Sending you plenty of the same for healing!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Your situation is definitely different, Staci. With the amount of words you write daily, and the drafts you produce monthly, you’re far and above what is required for NaNoWriMo. In your position, I couldn’t conceive of adding more on top of that either. Yikes!

      Thanks for the good wishes. May the muse be kind to all of us!

      Liked by 3 people

  13. It seems like a lifetime since I commented here, but I’ve read news from SE here and there. I hope you are all well!
    On my part, I’m trying to get some writing back in my life. However, NaNoWriMo wasn’t part of the plan until, like, yesterday. I wasn’t going to participate, because I have a new job, my baby is only 8 months old and requires most of my time, and so on. But then… I started seeing NaNo updates on my Facebook feed and felt physically bad for not doing it.
    So I jumped in, and decided to give it a try and finish my WIP.
    Yesterday I managed more of 1900 words, but it was Sunday it was easier…

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi, Irene! It’s nice to see you here again. Congrats on the new job, and the new baby 🙂

      It does sound like you have your hands full, but I’m glad you decided to give NaNo a try. That’s a wonderful first day word count. I know Sundays (and days off) are easier, but as I said in the post….slow and steady wins the race. Sticking with the plan for the long haul will help us both come out NaNo winners. I’m cheering you on!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Good for you! I have never been a good outliner. I used to pants completely, now I’m up to plantsing. One of these days I might actually learn to outline and plot.
        Happy writing, and wishing you plenty of spare time where you can fit it in!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I started off slow this year as felt my way around. I’m attempting my first dual timeline, so once I decide what to reveal in the past I’m off and running. Best of luck Mae xo

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oooh, dual timelines! You KNOW I’m a fan of those, Denise 🙂
      I’m excited that you’re undertaking a book with one, and hope it all comes together as planned. I’ll be looking forward to seeing that published when it’s done.
      Thanks for the well wishes, and I’m wishing you the same. I’m so glad you’re doing NaNo again this year!

      Liked by 3 people

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