Looking Back at NaNoWriMo 2018

A week has passed since the end of November, giving me a few days to think and reflect on this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge.  I didn’t win, but I got a lot more done than I thought possible, which is no doubt due to me being a NaNo Rebel this time around, meaning I could focus on anything I wanted…the theme this year was a multitude of little projects…

Let’s Look At The Numbers

  • 39376 words in total
  • 4 short stories completed
  • 382 notes left on phone
  • 6 book reviews written
  • 5207 words written on One Christmas novella
  • 2572 words written / edited for Oath Broken
  • Creative Writing spreadsheet updated
What I Did v’s What I Hoped I’d Do

Naturally, I’d hoped to reach the 50,000 word target, even though I knew before November started it was going to require a monumental effort.  Realistically, it was never going to happen, especially when I picked up a cold at the beginning of the month.  That being said, I’m happy that I hit 39,000 – and this included 9 “no writing” days.

On my NaNo list, I aimed to complete 4 unfinished stories from my (ever-growing) list of incomplete projects, one a week.  I managed to do this.  Yay!  And I did manage to lavish some attention on another 3 short stories (but didn’t finish them), edit a small collection of flash fiction / short stories and write a detailed plan of another story.

And, in the spirit of trying to finish unfinished stories, I also came across a novella I had started writing a few years ago.  It’s not the sort of story I typically write, but I’m having fun with it and I think it’s sometimes worth writing outside of your comfort zone, just to see what happens.  Anyway, for those interested, it’s called “One Christmas”  and is a contemporary romance, with a bit of humour and (hopefully) suspense thrown in for good measure, and you can read it here, via Wattpad, as I write it.  I’ll post more about it at a later date…

I had wanted to reduce the number of creative writing notes (including scenes, chapters, short stories, flash fiction and poetry) on my phone to between the 125 – 150 mark.  I failed at this, epically.  Although I began with 526, there are still 382 notes waiting to be written somewhere I can’t easily delete / lose them.

I had started November seriously behind my book reviews over on my book review blog, Sammi Loves Books.  So, I thought it would be a great idea if I added this to my list of organisational tasks to complete in the month, as motivation to get back up-to-date.  I wrote and posted 6 book reviews; I had hoped to clear it completely before I added anymore books to the pile, but I didn’t.  There were still four books left over, plus the books I’ve finished since then.

Oath Broken, the story of Oathbreaker told from a different character’s POV, was supposed to be one of my main focuses for November.  In reality, I didn’t get much done on it at all, only 2500 words, a quarter of what I had hoped.  So, I am a little disappointed with this, if I’m honest, but the story feels like it’s in a good place now so I shouldn’t grumble too much…

I got just under 3900 words written for what I’ve been calling Novel #3 on my WIP list (Oath Broken is Novel #2).  I didn’t manage any words at all on Novel #1, which again is a little disappointing.  One chapter would have been nice…

Another task on my list of organisational projects was updating my Creative Writing Tracker, a 20 page spreadsheet that helps me keep a track of all and everything to do with my writing.  I started it back in 2015 and after a few years it needed a little bit of TLC.  Things needed moving around, layouts needed changing, sheets needed updating / deleting / replacing.  So, I gave it a bit of a makeover – it might be a spreadsheet, but it can still look interesting as well as being functional!  I am pleased to say, this task was also completed as part of my NaNo gaols 2018 – although it only earned me a nominal 1000 words towards my total word count.

The idea of the NaNo journal was good one, and I enjoyed keeping it for about a week…*Sigh*  But with feeling unwell, exhausted and trying to find time to write, this probably wasn’t the right year to try and implement it, at least, not in terms of daily entries.  If I do have another go at it next year, I will try may be twice a week.

So that’s the rundown of my NaNoWriMo 2018.  In no time at all, April 2019 will roll round and with it Camp NaNo.  😉

11 thoughts on “Looking Back at NaNoWriMo 2018

  1. It sure sounds to me like you got a lot done! But I know what you mean: my to-do list is always longer than what could ever possibly be accomplished, and yet I’m always disappointed when I don’t finish it. For me, doing a lot of small things also just feels like more work than doing on long thing. Sure, I feel like I accomplished more (more check-marks on my list) but all that starting and stopping and starting and stopping… Whew, I get tired just thinking about it. (And not just because that’s exactly what my list for this weekend looks like.)

    I’m curious about the notes on your phone that you mention. I suspect that it’s similar to my pile over here, except my notes are all on little pieces of paper. Not so much story ideas as notes from reading resource books. And boy, do those pile up! I currently have seven such books piled next to my desk, jammed with notes, along with my conference journal that still has notes from the last three events that I haven’t processed into my writing and world-building files yet. Whew. That might have to be part of my January/ New Year/ Get My @#$#@ Act Together push. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same: disappointed at not getting *everything* done even though there isn’t physically the time to do it. It’s frustrating and dejecting. I need to learn to set my goals lower.

      But I always feel happier to see more ticks on my checklist 🙂

      I write notes on my phone when I’m away from the PC – travelling, visiting family, while out shopping, anytime at all really when it’s not really possible to use a pen and notebook. I have the mountain of scrap papers too, just not the time to try and organise them…sigh.

      Wow – seven notebooks?! That’s a lot of notes…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Sammi. You may not have hit targets but you sure got a lot done. I’d say to keep pressing on with the organisational tasks; personally, I find them as satisfying and worthy of credit as the actual finger-to-key writing. When you start from an organised base, whatever creative juices flow don’t get blocked by fumbling for notes or resources.
    But I know you’ve written a hefty whack in the past month. And 5 book reviews? I struggle to do one.
    And now I’m gonna check out the Christmas romance. I do enjoy your writing.

    Liked by 2 people

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