My NaNoWriMo Experience – 2019!

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Hey guys! It’s taken me a while to put this post together but here’s my take on National Novel Writing Month 2019! There’s a little bit of a summary about my experience with it this year (in comparison to my attempt in 2018), how the whole thing went in terms of my goals and what I’ve learned this time around.

Just in case you’re not familiar, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a month long challenge where writers (or aspiring ones, like me!) try to write 50,000 words of a WIP in November. If this sounds like something that you’d be interested in trying out, you can take a look at their website for more information here.

I also did a similar post on my experience of NaNoWriMo in 2018 which you can find here – there’s a lot more advice in there that I won’t repeat here.


So, as per the challenge, the goal is to ultimately write 50,000 words of your WIP, even if it’s not the end. The idea is that you manage to get a good chunk of it done so that it’s a bit less scary to finish/edit.

I managed to write 42,539 words in total on my WIP. Not too shabby! Last year, I ended up with 25,000 so am so happy to have surpassed that goal, even if I didn’t reach that elusive 50k. While I didn’t write ‘the end’ (and won’t on this one for a while!), this is the most that I’ve ever written for one of my original WIPs, not counting my days of fanfiction (😅) so it still feels good!

The best part of my NaNo experience this year is that I didn’t manage to convince myself that what I was writing was awful. I usually do that to myself and stop writing altogether for fear of making it worse. This time, I persevered and am really thankful that I did! I’m excited to see where this WIP goes and I still have a lot of ideas for it going forward.

But, reflecting on what went well for me, and what didn’t, I’ve definitely reached a few conclusions about my writing style that I think will help me in the future 😌

WHAT WORKED:

  • Planning!

I really took the time to plan out this WIP before I started writing, and also took another day during the challenge to really flesh out and add in more plot points as I went. This was so helpful for getting words down on the page that I can go back and expand on as it meant that I was able to outline a lot of the big moments and even some smaller ones just from the notes that I had made which helped my word count.

Additionally, writing descriptions of my characters was really useful when I came to introducing new faces to the story as I already knew their quirks and how they would influence the main characters and the plot.

I’d definitely recommend spending some time planning out what you want to happen, even if it’s only the bare bones plot-wise as it can be helpful when you’re suffering from writer’s block to just get some bits written, even if they’re not complete.

  • Using Pinterest and Spotify!

I’d never thought of using either of these before when it came to writing but they were unbelievably helpful! My current WIP takes place within a coven of witches so to get into the ‘witchy’ mindset I put together a playlist and Pinterest board of things that I could see my characters listening to/wearing/liking and to give myself a visual of the settings.

As a visual thinker this was brilliant for getting into the writing mood and helping me describe my settings and characters to give it the right kind of vibe. I’d also listen to the playlist while I was writing or planning just so that I could focus on the atmosphere that I wanted to create. If you haven’t tried this before, I’d recommend it to possibly help you get into the writing mood quicker and more easily.

  • Research!

This WIP required a lot of research around ingredients/spells/practicing witchcraft and I was so so glad by the end that I’d taken the time to make notes on what I’d learnt. I even made a list of rhyming couplets that could be used when my characters performed spells and incantations which saved me so much time, meaning that I could get more writing done in the same amount of time.

If you’re writing something that has some complicated elements or takes place in a historical setting, for example, research time can be invaluable and it’s definitely something that I’ll be making more time to do in future!

WHAT DIDN’T:

  • Sprints!

I said in my preparation post (which you can find here) that I was planning to take part in some group writing sprints with the aim of seeing how much I could write in a certain amount of time. I didn’t take part in any 😂

For a lot of the ones I wanted to take part in, I wasn’t around when they were taking place and for the ones I did see, they always popped up when I’d been sitting staring into space for 10 minutes so didn’t feel like it was the right time. For next year, I might try to work on this and actually give it a go as I can see the positive side but for now, I don’t think sprints are for me.

  • Writing goals!

I set myself the target of writing 1,700 words each day which would have left me with a total of 51,000 by the end, if it had worked! While it’s not a huge target, I didn’t take into account the days that I would be working until 8pm (and then not home until 9:30-10pm) and just didn’t have the energy to write anything.

Next time, I’ll work out goals for each day in advance so that I don’t feel pressured to sit at the laptop until midnight when I should be sleeping 😂

The NaNo website lets you track your progress and there’s no better way for me to show just how much this didn’t work for me this year! Consistent, I was not 😂

So, there we have it, my experience with National Novel Writing Month for 2019! Did you take part this year? I’d love to know how you got on. I tweeted a LOT this time and found the support on Twitter to be so lovely!


Have you taken part in NaNoWriMo before? Was it a positive experience for you? What advice would you share with others? Or maybe you’re thinking about giving it a go for the first time, I’d love to know!

If you’d like to chat with me about this experience, need some more advice or have any questions, you can find me over on Twitter and Instagram and my DMs are always open! 😊

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6 thoughts on “My NaNoWriMo Experience – 2019!

  1. I’ve never felt strong enough for a NaNoWriMo (and don’t think I will in some time) but your advice is just as good for any type of writing, so thanks for the post! (Also, if your WIP were already published, it’d be straight in my TBR… witchy coven? Here for it!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much!! I’ve been dragging my feet with finishing Coven’s Blood but you’ve just given me a big push! I’d love to know how you get on with NaNo if/when you feel up to it, although I’ve never hit that magic 50k it’s still really rewarding! x

      Liked by 1 person

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