NaNoWriMo Day 23: Be Thankful

In America, today is Thanksgiving Day. Yes, it’s a day usually reserved for eating more than normal. Or eating treats you abstain from all year. The older I get, the more I really think on how thankful I am for all I have.Thankful for fall leaves

be thankful

I still eat more than I should and succumb to the turkey nap, but I’m learning to just be grateful.

Celebrate your Nano writing accomplishments, your family, pumpkin pie. Enjoy all that you have.

Today’s Count: 38,341 words

Happy Writing and Happy Thanksgiving!


NaNoWriMo Day 22: Discovery in Crisis

I have participated in Nano for the last four years. Each year, discovery inevitably makes an appearance. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Other times it’s something I have to learn to accept or be committed to changing. When crisis hits, you learn how you instinctively react.

Blue abstract discovery


Sink or swim. Flight or fight. These are reactions that people tend to manifest when they are faced with a crisis. With only eight days left in the Nano marathon, this is the time true panic starts to rear its ugly head.

The question is: how do you handle it? Will you kick, scream, and run away? Or will you keep trudging away at it? My Nano discovery has been that I freak out and then settle down to do the work. So I fall in the middle.

But until a couple of years ago when I decide to swim/fight/keep going, I never knew that I was capable of pushing through. Push yourself. Make yourself accountable to your ego and see just what you’re made. Now that I’ve tested myself and put myself through the ringer a little bit, I know I can do it again.

And as an old 80’s cartoon used to say: “Knowing is half the battle.”

Today’s Count: 36,674 words

Happy Writing!


NaNoWriMo Day 21: Risk and Reward

As someone who spent many years in the finance world, risk and reward are often uttered in the same breath. The more money you’re willing to risk in the portfolio, the larger the monetary reward. It all comes down to, how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to gain?Woman at bridge at risk

For nano, risk it all

The object of the game in November is to simply get the words down. Get that story out. For some, they may not work that way. It may simply not be part of the process. However, many writers can gain from using this month to get the story out of their head and on paper. It isn’t the time for editing or fretting over word choice. That can come in December and beyond.

As I mentioned before, that inner editor will do all they can to break free in November. But with nine days left, try to restrain them for just a little bit longer. It can be a difficult process, almost as difficult as the writing itself. But learning to be able to write freely and openly is something that at we don’t always have the luxury of doing.

So take advantage of this opportunity to do so. Risk it all. Lay it all on the line. Right now there are no rules. And seriously how many times do you get to play with your writing with no rules?

When it comes to writing, Nano is the portfolio to risk it all. The rewards will be worth it in the end.

Today’s count: 35,007 words

Happy Writing!


NaNoWriMo Day 20: Determined to Finish

The days keep flying by and the deadline looms closer. But we writers are a determined lot, especially when the muse hits us in the head. When that happens, we end up with superpower abilities to write.

Determined man riding race horse in snow.


At this point, Nano participants have been writing for 20 days straight. Even if you haven’t written every day, chances are you’ve done more writing than normal. It’s easy at this point to feel your energy wane.

Or if you’re anything like me and live in America, you’re getting ready for the holidays. October to December is pretty busy for most families with all the holidays that come into play. Add trying to write a novel and it is a test of our determination and will. It’s easy to get bogged down.

But you have made it this far. Regardless of 10,000 words or the daily word count at this point, don’t let that get you down. This contest shows you can do it. It may have even reignited a passion for you.

If you’re fretting because you’re behind, take a deep breath and dig deep. Channel that fretting energy into your work and keep typing.

You’ll never regret that you kept going.

Today’s Count: 33,340 words

Happy Writing!


NaNoWriMo Day 19: Anything Worth Having isn’t Easy

Even in the centuries since Ovid, humans knew that anything worth having isn’t easy. There are even variations of it with “if it were easy, everyone would do it”.  This applies to everything that I can think of, especially writing.

Man pushing ball up hill: worth having

the nano journey is worth it

Writing is my passion. I love it and always have. But that doesn’t mean that I like it every day. Some days the words come faster than I can type. Other times, it’s nothing but crickets. Those are the days that I employ all the writing avoidance tasks at my disposal.

But at the end of the day, I always go back to it because it is important to me. It’s something that I know if I put the work in, something good will come out of it. Your mileage will vary on what that looks like, but it will be there.

In writing, if you are trying to learn consistent, habit forming traits, taking the Nano carpet ride is worth the experience. Even if you don’t “win”, aka reach 50,000 words. You can, of course, learn it in other ways. But I found that the goal setting aspect of this exercise is a good place to start.

And remember, even loving it, writing a novel isn’t going to be easy. Don’t let the fact that some days your writing will down right suck be a deterrent for you.

Let it motivate and thrust you into the next day. Let it teach you. Writing is a craft where education is never finished. So find all the ways you can learn it.

It will be worth it.

Today’s count: 31.673 words (for the record, I’m sitting at 25,544 before today’s session. Keep trucking!)

Happy Writing!


NaNoWriMo Day 18: Just Write

It’s day 18 and we are closing in on the three-quarter mark of our Nano journey. If you’re still in the game, even if you are behind, congratulate yourself! You made the commitment to write that novel and you’re still in it.  That in itself shows your willingness to get the job done.

Typewriter, just write

Just write down the words

I love this quote because it’s truth. Obviously the first sentence is written before the last in your draft. But it isn’t until you get the first draft down, silencing your inner editor along the way, that you can go back and solidify the first sentence.

Today I attended a workshop at my local romance writers chapter and the speaker gave a ton of great, useful info about plot and characterization. To keep the story moving. But in the end, she stated that if push came to shove, just get the words down. Once you do, you can go back and change what needs to be changed, including that first line.

But the last has to be written first. This is where Nano is an excellent place for writers to learn the practice of just writing. Without fear of editing and with reckless abandon.

So keep going, keep typing, keep writing. Know that it isn’t about perfection. It’s about completion.

Today’s Count: 30,006 words

Happy Writing!



NaNoWriMo Day 17: How Do You Define Success?

Everyone wants success, am I right? It can mean different things to different people, but at the end of the day, we all want to be successful. For the dogs in this picture, it means making it to a given location they were trained for before anyone else and making their master happy. For those of us on the Nano journey, that looks like having 50,000 words or more on November 30th.

But knowing we want it? That’s the easy part. We know the goal. But how we achieve that goal is where the rubber meets the road. Few have all the pieces needed to get there. Worse yet, some are not even sure what those pieces are. There’s no manual for it, no hack, or secret handshake.


Sled dogs racing to success

Add willingness & Patience to that Success formula

These days the world is full of people that will tell you there is a get *rich quick/successful/beautiful/insert your wish here* formula. You need only to send in your life savings to do so, follow the instructions and viola! You’re *broke, no thinner, insert your dead wish here*. Delayed gratification is a foreign concept these days, which is why scams are commonplace.

The truth is, you must be willing to not only learn from failure, but to roll with the punches, learn new things, and take chances. You need patience. The only overnight successes are the ones years in the making. They applied all the principles of winning: willingness, preparation, work, learning. And knew that if they kept up with those things, as a result, success would find its way to them.

Whatever it is you want in life and whatever your definition of success might mean, give it everything you have.

Today’s Count: 28,339 words

Happy Writing!


***parts of this post were used with permission by Eliza Peake.***

NaNoWriMo Day 16: Believe in Yourself

The NaNoWriMo journey is not one everyone in your life will understand. Well meaning friends and family will deter you even if they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing. They may not believe in you. However, their belief in you isn’t what helps you finish this race.

Man jumping from ledge to ledge - Believe

believe in yourself first

The main ingredient to becoming a champ with Nano is putting what you think of yourself first. There’s a saying I’ve heard that says, if you don’t think you’re a rock star, no one else will. People recognize self-confidence. It’s a magnet for others.

The thing about adversity and large challenges is that it gives us a reality check of ourselves. Our mettle is tested to see what we are made. And we can tell really quick if we want to continue this writing thing as a hobby or if it’s something we wish to pursue professionally.

If you are in it, to win it this month, believe you can keep pushing forward. No matter what they naysayers or fate tries to tell you otherwise. No one ever regretted finishing their story. But countless souls have regretted quitting before they were finished.

Today Word Count: 26,667 words

Happy Writing!


NaNoWriMo Day 15: Adversity Brings Benefits

When most people hear the word “adversity”, they think negative thoughts. It’s like when you hear the word “fear”. Or the other F-word that brings shudders to millions, “failure”. On the surface, and maybe from your own experiences, these three words are something you avoid. Or something that wears you down when it’s unavoidable. But what if you think about it another way?

Image of cloudy beach day and sand grass, adversity between you and the ocean

make Adversity benefit you

We’re at the half way point of our Nanowrimo journey and if you are still in it to win it, congrats! But maybe your family isn’t supportive. Or work is nuts and the holidays are approaching quickly. You’re word count is so far behind, you can’t see the other Nano marathoners.

If you’re thinking about dropping out, consider this:

I’ve heard it said that a setback often occurs before a setup. These obstacles are serving to test you. To see how much sacrificing you are willing to do in order to meet your goals. To get you ready for greatness. Show you the benefit of dealing with life when it seems out to make your life hell. Because life has its own agenda and will never bend to your will if you let it just happen to you. You have to be willing to take life by the horns and make it happen for you. Instead of to you.

I’ve said it before. Writing isn’t easy. It’s a solitary venture. But if your day isn’t complete unless you write and you want the world to hear your voice, you have to keep going. Keep pushing. Stay focused.

Because you want to be ready when greatness knocks on your door.

Today’s Count: 25,000 words!!! Half way there!!!

Happy Writing,





NaNoWriMo Day 14: Time to be stubborn

You learn a lot of things about yourself by participating in Nano. Or solidify things you already know.  One thing I know about myself is that I can be stubborn. But this personality trait of mine solidified itself this year when I managed to throw a rather large obstacle in my writing path.

Image of a stubborn man climbing a mountain

Broken fingers Anyone?

That’s right. I broke two fingers on my right hand (and yes, I’m right handed) during the first week of Nano. I tangled with a door. It won, I lost. Not only was I in physical pain, but my heart sunk when I thought about how I would type with one hand. But this is where my being a stubborn, hard head paid off.

I typed, but slower than normal. I used dictation to help me get in a decent amount of words. I’m not great at dictation just yet and as a result, I will end up doing heavy editing on those sections. But I got the words in. Because I have a goal. To write this damn book!

This challenge of writing an entire book in thirty days takes fortitude of all sorts. Having the willingness to do it in the face of overwhelming obstacles (holidays, work, kids, etc) separates the hobbyists from the pros. Only you can know how bad you want it. And only you can make it happen.

Keep pushing, keep driving. Be stubborn. When thirty days are done, a bright and shiny story will be waiting to be edited and released.


Now, go write!

Today’s Count: 23,338 words

Happy Writing!