Life during NaNo and inspirations

So, cheers for braving the first week of NaNo!

So, I didn’t expect much. Like, honestly, I had not plotted out a single smidgen of structural plottiness in the waning days of October. I expected my dazzling story idea to splat on the page, and leave me to scrape up the pieces through grueling 1,667-word chunks.

But what I did NOT imagine was emerging out of Week One with 19,000 words under my belt!!!!


Last year was hard for me. Like, hard. I loved my story to death, and I still do, but it was pretty much mentally painful to struggle to get myself to the quota. Sure, there had been times when words were flying out, in tandem with my organized (?!) thoughts, but that happened like, 0.5 times. Point made; NaNo was no piece of cake.

And it still isn’t. But there are some things I didn’t expect, and they genuinely shocked me.

1. How many words I can write in 30 minutes.
I guess all the sprinting paid off, eh? The first time I attempted, seriously attempted NaNoWriMo, I managed around 900, 1000 words an hour for an all-out sprint. And then I cut it down, for chunks of 500 words in 15 minutes, which, truth to be told, I struggled with.
But this year? Some of the practice has finally paid off. I can top 1000 words, easy, in 30 minutes. Maybe in 25, if I’m super-inspired.

Uhhhh….what? I’m not the fastest typist on earth, but some demon has taken over me, I’m sure.

2. And this year, my scenes are no longer problematically short. My zombie-brain has no idea whatsoever I’m filling in the scenes with, but I know it’s not painful padding. My scenes, on average, around around 1000 words. Wow. And a few 30 minute sprints mean…
I’ve had three nights in the first week, when I’ve written 3000 words or more. (There was that INSANE school night when I wrote like 4600 words –but it is legendary, and I doubt it will happen again.)

3. How the story is coming to me.
Sure, I still need to think through things and sure, they’re not coming easily but when I say I had no bit of plot, I MEAN I had no plot. Nada. Zip. Nothing written, at all. And…

…the pantsing has worked, for me? For this novel, at least? Usually if I can picture scenes in my head like a movie, I’m good to go.

4. Music
Now music fuels my writing. I mean, I can’t write without plugging in a favorite soundtrack. I think it’s just special to thsi novel–the scenes come so fast and furious, and…this novel just has been very special to me.

So overall, happy surprises! Watch out, Wrimos–Week Two might hit a slump, and watch me come back crying and smeared in guilt chocolate.

But until then, here is a song that I absolutely love, and it fits the spirit of NaNo perfectly.

Happy first week of NaNo, guys!


  1. That's amazing, Christina! I'm so impressed by your progress. And I do not know how you manage those sprints. I see Sooz doing them all the time on twitter but the idea of trying to write that many words in 30 minutes terrifies me. Although I must say that your recent sprints have been pretty inspiring… Good luck with the rest of NaNo! I hope the momentum stays with you.


  2. Thanks, Hannah! It's been weird, kind of amazing, almost, but the downside is that I'm at 40,000 words and I'm, um, halfway through my novel. I hope I can finish…:)Hey, thanks for reading!


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