Finishing out November #NaNoWriMo #WIPs #Writing

Hello, SEers. Mae here on the second to last Friday in November. Most of the month is behind us. If you live in the States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I know we’re all anxious to bid goodbye to 2020, but this month feels like it’s blown past at lightspeed. Maybe that’s because I’ve been writing like a speed demon. This is my last NaNoWriMo post of the year, so I hope you’ll bear with me—especially given it’s about more than NaNo.

Let’s talk writing. Whether you’re chasing 50K in thirty days, or plugging away as usual, the goal is to create. To make progress on your WIP. We all have one, right? There is rarely a time when there isn’t a manuscript in some semblance of completion. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, you’re either adding to that or you’ve started something from scratch.

lazy tabby cat lying on side with paws stretched over laptop keyboard

The NaNo plan is to write every day. If you stick to that, it amounts to churning out 1667 words a day for thirty days. I’m not a writer who can do that. My schedule is all over the place. There are days—clumps of them—when I can’t find the time to write. That means I have to double, or triple-up on other days. I start off with a bang (usually due to a few vacation days) then fall behind as the month progresses. So far, I’ve managed to write eight days during November. It’s a toss-up whether or not I will “win” with 50K.

But how do you gauge a win? Last November I wrote a little over 50K and ended the month with an unsalvageable manuscript. Complete disaster. NaNo is always a fun experience, but as an author I bombed, even though I “won.” I walked away with a few characters I can use later, and a setting I plan to employ again.

A litter of cute kittens tumbling over each otherThis year, I may not win. As of this writing, I’m a little shy of 25K, halfway there. The difference is I chose to work on a WIP, and although I’m going to have polishing to do, the progress I’ve made is substantial. All of my scenes are usable, and the plot follows a linear fashion. At the most, I have to flesh out scenes, trimming where necessary. This is a WIP that has been languishing for two years, so I’m ecstatic with the headway. I started with a few pages, and now have a litter of them!

There’s something about November that inspires writing. The adrenalin and hype of NaNoWriMo carries over to most all writers, participating or not.

Have you taken advantage of this write-a-thon month in one manner or the other? Let me hear your successes. Or, if you’re like me, and find yourself behind the eight ball on your plans, let me hear your goals for moving ahead. The end result is that we keep writing. 2020 is almost over. What are your goals for completing the year? Did you find NaNoWriMo beneficial in inspiring your muse in one way or another?

Stay a while and chat in the comments below.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

60 thoughts on “Finishing out November #NaNoWriMo #WIPs #Writing

  1. I did NaNo last year and “won”, but like you, my 55K was not salvageable. I did get characters and place descriptions that can be used, but the rest of the manuscript was crap. NaNo was a teaching experience for me. I managed to carve out time each day to do writing. Did I keep those good habits? No. I let them slip away.

    This year, I was swamped with freelance work and could not take place in NaNo. I have a couple more pages to add to my job and it will be complete. It involved writing, but not anything close to the 50K word goal.

    I was just invited to an online group that will be starting in January whose goal is to foster better writing habits. The group has plans to host writing sprints and do other various writing activities. This is a good plan for 2021.

    Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you get what you wanted from NaNo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry you didn’t get a chance to do NaNo this year, Michele but it sounds like you did plenty of freelance writing.

      I really tackle writing in November, but I’m not good at maintaining that schedule through the rest of the year. I do, have a set writing schedule on Sunday afternoons but that’s about it. Wishing you all the best with your new group. What a great way to start out 2021. It sounds perfect for fostering good writing habits!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You should still celebrate 25K words – I’d be thrilled at that!! I’ve written precisely zero words this November. But I have been doing some editing of a few short stories, so I’m still technically ‘in the game’. I need to get back on track with my WIP. Somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mae, I am glad you have made good progress this month even if you don’t win in the standard way. I know I can’t write like this and writing 50k a month is probably impossible for a perfectionist like me. I just can’t go one with out editing. I have published 1 Sir Chocolate book and 4 short stories c. 4 000 words in 2 anthologies. I’ve also written three new stories for another anthology in January and finished A Ghost and His Gold. I have exact 26 pages left to edit tomorrow. I also have the beginning and outline of a new book called The Soldier and the Radium Girl which I shall pick up again next week. This is okay for me. I also work full time and have my boys to see too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, I’d say you are kicking butt with all you’re producing. Especially given you work full time and have your a family to see too. I think you are doing AMAZINGLY well. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. I wish you happy editing with those remaining 26 pages. And NaNoWriMo is definitely not for everyone, but I think the energy of the month carries over. At least it seems that way from the comments people have been leaving regarding their writing projects and progress!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you are write about that, Mae. It is wonderful to feel part of a vibrate and energise community of writers, even if you don’t take part. I know I’m rooting for all the participants to achieve their goals. Thanks you for your comments about my writing, I do enjoy it and am sitting here about to tackle that last 26 pages.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m new to all this, but I feel like I’m missing something with this whole NaNoWriMo concept. If this concept works for others, go for it. Trying to quantify a creative endeavor like writing into a specific number of words feels like it goes against what creativity is all about. That said, I’m all about people finding whatever works for them. Much luck to you, Mae!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pete. NaNo definitely isn’t a one-size fits all. I don’t do it every year, but I always have fun when I participate. This year it’s proving to be highly beneficial with the word count I’ve added to my WIP. Last year was mostly a disaster for me, LOL!

      Most importantly, NaNoWriMo is about encouraging and promoting writing. A lot of schools, libraries, and coffeeshops get involved as well. Before the days of COVID-19, many hosted local write-ins. Now, they’re all virtual, but NaNo is still making a big splash! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve done NaNo a couple of times and won. The first was finishing a novel. Last year I started from scratch. And I’m still working on that one.

    Setting a goal helps me but only when I let others know so they can encourage me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that your NaNo project from last year is something you’re sticking with, Joan. You made those words count.

      I’m pretty good at setting goals, but lately I seem to be falling short when it comes to sticking with them. I need to start blogging about them more so I can catch the energy from the encouragement of others, too. That definitely helps! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s good to hear from you, Mae. Your 25K sounds encouraging, especially when the scenes and characters you can use. It’s better than last year when you touched the finish line with more than 50K but was less useful. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Miriam. I’m happier with my progress this year, too. Even though the word count is lower, it’s all good material I can use. I haven’t had as many days to write as I’d hoped, but I’ve made good use of the ones I’ve squeezed in. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving as well!

      Like

  7. It’s great to hear from you Mae and congrats on your progress! 25K is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it’s actual work you can use! I’ve been writing blog posts like crazy and getting ready to launch “Ghostly Interference,” so haven’t done much on my current WIP, but hope to remedy that over the weekend! Best wishes to you and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jan. I’m pretty happy with the 25K since it’s all useable, and I’m hoping to add to it this weekend.
      Wishing you all the best with your blog tour for Ghostly Interference. I know how exhausting touring can be, but hugely exciting, too. I’m looking forward to your visit on my blog and to reading your book. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Like

  8. I think 25K is a great position to be in, Mae. Especially if it usable. Congratulations. I think you are right about the month of November. I actually got started on the next Eternal Road book. Working title – On the Road Again – The second in the Eternal Road series. We’ll see how it goes. There is a soul on the Eternal Road who has been reported missing by his guide. Sam and James are sent to help find him. Best wishes on the remainder of the month. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oooh, I’m excited to hear about On the Road Again (what a great title for the sequel). I love that you’re making progress, too, John. There is a lot of writing mojo that goes around in November. Thanks for the well wishes, and I am sending them back at you. I hope November has a super close for both of us! 🙂

      Like

  9. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    When is a Win a Win? Check out Mae Clair’s NaNoWriMo post today on Story Empire, and find out how she answers that question. Super post, and I don’t know about you, but I’m now feeling inspired enough to consider taking part next time around. (Maybe. 😀 ) Hope you’ll enjoy the post as much as I did and will pass it along for others to read. Thanks, and thanks, Mae, for reminding us that it isn’t always about the numbers! 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reblogging, Marcia.

      And, wow–I really do hope you’ll consider participating next November. You can work on a WIP by adding word count, or start a new project from scratch. For me, NaNo was just the kick in the butt inspiration I needed to tackle my WIP which had been languishing for far too long. Even if I don’t “win” the month, I’m definitely pleased with my progress. Thanks for your enthusiasm! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for cheering me on, Sue! Last year was fun, but I was so bummed I had invested all that time in a new project and then couldn’t do anything with it. Slow and steady, it is. This year I’m definitely doing quality over quantity, and am excited about my progress! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’re using the momentum of NaNo even if you aren’t participating, Teri. I think all writers get jazzed about adding word count at this time of year. Fingers crossed you have more good days than less productive ones.
      Thanks for the cheer. I’m cheering you on, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You might not have met your inner goals, but 25K is great progress. I’m impressed you did that in 8 days. Yay for you! And they’re all good pages, so I’d consider that a win. I’ve written about 25K this month, too, but I get to write almost every week day. I can’t imagine having to come up with that many words around everything else you’re doing. You should be proud of yourself! Good luck making time for more words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for cheering me on, Judi. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. And I do have to remember it was only 8 days of writing. Hopefully, I can add some more to my word count this weekend.
      Congrats on your own progress. Even having the time to write every day, I know that the words don’t always flow, and real life still tosses curve balls. Here’s hoping we both add plenty more words before the close of the month! 🙂

      Like

  11. Sounds to me like you’re making better progress. Sometimes it isn’t about the volume, but the quality. While I don’t do NaNo, I’ve added 10K to one project and 7K to another. I swore I wouldn’t start until December, but the Muse kept kicking me.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I don’t do NaNo, but I like watching everyone’s progress. I’m glad to see you’re left with something you can use this year, even if you don’t “win” this time. But to me, I’d rather have 25K usable words than 50K unusable words. Can’t wait to hear what you finish the month with. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m in the process of dealing with what will be my second move during this pandemic. Writing is currently just a vague thought of something I love and wish I had time for right now. My goal for the year is to retain what sanity I have left (or try to anyhow) while arranging this move. If I can do that I’ll consider it a win. Next year I’ll have some writing goals. For now I just can’t deal with it either physically or mentally.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations on your progress, Mae. I was making steady progress the first couple of days, writing around the day job. But then my editor sent my edits for my next book. I had to make a few major changes early in the book which caused a snowball effect…you know, almost a complete rewrite. I think I shed more than 50k tears, does that count? 🙂 Once I sent the edits back, I was on track again with NaNo. Then two days later, my editor sent back my proposal for my other book. The good news was she loved it, but of course there were a couple of changes. My plan is to get back to NaNo this weekend. This month is going way to fast! Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Jill, you’re crazy busy! NaNo should definitely take a back seat to the other things you have going on, especially that book proposal. Congrats on the acceptance! You’re a trooper for wanting to stick with NaNo. So sorry about the tears. I’ve been feeling kind of bummed about my minimal progress, but then I think of what I DID accomplish, and I’m pleased with that. Wishing you much success with all of your projects!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. My goals for completing the year are to complete the year, lols.
    If I make the above goal, I’ll start afresh with my writing in January, and I’m committing to stick with it.

    Great progress, Mae. As you say, progress or “winning” isn’t simply in the word count. Wishing you all the very best 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Your journey with NaNo is inspirational, Mae, and your post today underscores the reasons why. Congratulations on your progress — over the hurdles and through the thickets. I’m in awe. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I’ve been trying to keep up 2000 words a day skipping Saturday. I hope to make it to the end with Thanksgiving losing a few writing days. So far so good, story-wise, although I’ve had to research the timelines. I find I can get it done though and then focus on some things I never get to. It will need a lot of editing but the push shows what I can do:)

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I chose not to do NaNo this year. And whilst it was the right decision I feel like I’m missing out when I read all the posts about how well people are getting on! Maybe next year.
    In the meantime I’m tentatively going back through a draft of a work I started last year and am on the second edit…it’s far from perfect but I’m hopeful there will be a readable MS by the end of the year. Although I imagine there’ll still be plot holes big enough to lob Christmas puddings through but that’s what a third…and a fourth edit are for, surely!
    Good luck with your draft and hope the NaNo season gives you the impetus to achieve your goals for the month!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Sarah! Even if you’re not doing NaNo, I think it’s fun to get caught up in the momentum of the month, and it sounds like you’re doing that. So I don’t think you’re missing out. And it’s wonderful you’re working through a draft and making progress on your edits. Thanks for the well wishes, and I’m sending them back your way. Here’s hoping we both accomplish our goals!

      Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.