I Finished NaNoWriMo

I did nanowrimo 2022

I actually did it! In 23 days, I wrote 50k words of a brand new novel! It was a grueling, tedious process, but in the end, I’m happy with my progress. How was it? Let’s jump right into that.

Day One

For day one, I stayed up the night before writing blog posts and newsletters for the entire month of November. Once the clock struck midnight, I started writing. I was tired, but I managed to get 1.3k in before going to sleep. I finished the rest when I woke up.

I should also explain that I am a high achiever and like to push myself way too much. Thus, I set a goal of 2k words per day, just in case I ended up not being able to write every day. I also told myself I couldn’t count the thousands of words I was putting into my blog, job applications, IG, and emails. (Some of them were super long.) Spoiler alert: I wrote an average of 2k+ per day. I also finished on the 23rd instead of the 30th.

NaNoWriMo Writing

The first two weeks were probably the easiest. Spirits were high, the novelty was still there, and excitement was in the air. Over the course of 14 days, I got about 31k in—not at all bad for a first-time NaNo’er.

Then, the midway slump hit. Day 15 came around, and I was feeling really tired of writing (as opposed to just kind of tired). I was having issues with my outline, and I didn’t feel “into” my story anymore. However, I kept going through it day by day, reminding myself that I just needed 2k.

I Won NaNoWriMo

And then the 23rd rolled around. I never wake up at 5 am. However, morning came, and instead of seeing it was still early and going back to sleep, I decided to get up and write. Might have had something to do with the fact that there was only 3k left to reach my goal.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d finish NaNo that day. I’d spent some time posting on my blog and social media, as well as sending out a newsletter, and by dinner, I only had 2k (as opposed to the 3k I’d hoped to achieve). I then debated whether I should sprint to the end or save it for the next day.

I chose to sprint.

I was excited, and I was writing a good scene, so by 9 pm, I’d reached 50k. It didn’t feel real at first. I was only 40% or so through the first draft, so it also didn’t feel right. However, after telling a few people and looking at the 16 chapters I had in Google Docs, I felt somewhat accomplished. Honestly, it was kind of underwhelming. (Plus, there’s an outline situation going on, but we won’t get into that.)

My Experience + Burn Out

First of all, I knew what I was getting into when I jumped into the challenge. I knew it would be grueling, tedious work, and I knew I would probably get burnt out—and I did, to some extent.

However, I didn’t entirely get burnt out. Even though I’d done a more manageable version of NaNo a few months back (1.5k every week day) which made me feel dead afterwards, I didn’t get burnt out like before. Instead, I feel rejuvenated in some sort of way. And you know whom I have to thank for that?

1. The Lord. Obviously. Without Him, I wouldn’t have been able to do this (or anything for that matter).

2. The friend I did NaNoWriMo with. He’s been so encouraging and such a pleasure to talk to, and it made November a lot easier. Adam, if you’re reading this, thank you. I don’t know if I could’ve done as well as I did without you. You made every chunk of writing something to look forward to, and seeing your example of consistency throughout your (much crazier) life made me want to grow in that area…and just your less worried, more positive outlook on things. You’re writing style is awesome👌I can’t wait to see more of it!

3. Jessica (@a.faith.so.strong) and our wonderful email chats. The emails are long and sometimes go into great depth. Most people would be horrified by the amount of questions I ask, but Jessica and I have this in common, so everything works out perfectly. Love you, Jessica! *hugs*

4. The young Christian writer community on Instagram. I know some of you are reading this, so I’ll thank you again. You guys have held me accountable and made every day of NaNo exciting. You have cheered me on and celebrated milestones with me, and on those days when I felt like giving up and going to sleep, I knew I had to update my word count, and it couldn’t look pitiful😜

5. And of course, my family. They tried to give me as much time as possible for my writing. Even when I was feeling stressed out and grumpy from difficult writing days, they were kind to me and gave me my space. Thank you, guys.


In conclusion, NaNoWriMo was stressful, tedious, and sometimes tiring, but every day was filled with laughter, surprises, and fun. I’m thankful I took up the challenge. However, I don’t plan on attending again.

*remembers every time I told myself I was done writing, and a new book idea popped into my head and nagged me until I wrote it*

If you did NaNoWriMo, how was your experience? Did you reach your goal? Tell me in the comments, because I’d love to hear about it!

I’m Doing NaNoWriMo

planning for nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo—the national event that writers from all over the world participate in every year. To say it is difficult is an understatement.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event held every November.  Writers who participate write tons—and by tons, I mean 50k words. It’s a lofty goal, but that doesn’t stop hundreds of thousands of people from joining every year. On average, only 12% of participants actually reach the goal.

This November, I’m doing NaNoWriMo. And I hope to be in that 12%.

What is the prize?

NaNoWriMo is a free event. There are no prizes, but if you reach the 50k, you can tell people you won NaNo. For most, it’s a way of showing yourself you can do it. Consistency, perseverance, and preparation are all key to winning.


Writing 50k words in one month is no easy feat, and one doesn’t get there by jumping in plan-less. (If you do, I commend you.) The fact that holiday season begins around this time makes things even more difficult, and some people have to make up for missed days of writing by doing even more when they have the time. So what am I doing to prepare for NaNo?

For starters, I came up with a solid concept and then drafted an outline. The outline has been written in very great detail. That way, writing will be a breeze, and I (hopefully) won’t get stuck on parts wondering what should come next.

Coming up with my concept

When I started, I just had a vague idea what my story would be about. Basically just a theme and setting. I developed my ideas into a concept by using a plot web, which gave me tons of options on which way the story could go. When I’d found the “plot web path” I wanted to use, I put away the web and got to work on developing ideas for my story.


Let me start out by saying that I’m a discovery writer. I have never made a complete outline in my life, and for the past few books, here’s how my writing process looked:

  • Create enough outline for a chapter or two
  • Write
  • Get stuck
  • Come up with more ideas and add to my outline
  • Keep writing

And repeat. This process wasn’t the most efficient. I did come up with amazing ideas this way, but I ran into a lot of issues with plot cohesiveness and plot holes. NaNo pretty much forced me to write an entire outline (for an entire book), and you know what? I’m actually not mad about it.


To start outlining, I began with the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet. This is where I came up with the big plot points and added in major characters. However, this was just the beginning.

Next, I used the Katytastic’s 3 Act/9 Block/27 Chapter Outline. I transported everything from the first outline to this one, then I added in more details and plot points. I didn’t stick super close to the prompts. This allowed me to enjoy the process as I added as much as I could to the chart.

Lastly, I copied everything from the last outline to a blank document. From here, I added in even more (yes, maybe I’m a little extreme), and kept adding until it looked like I had around 25 chapters. Obviously, I can’t really know until I write the entire book. I’m aiming for a 90k novel, and as I want my NaNoWriMo project to be the third book in The Fire Trials, it kind of has to be precise.


November is a busy month. Furthermore, that’s also when my personal life will be more hectic than normal. I probably won’t be able to write in the day on weekends, and if I end up getting a job, neither will I be able to do so on week days. Thus, my strategy is to stay up every night writing until I have my desired word count. I’m a night owl, and night time is usually when my creative energy peaks, so this actually isn’t a bad idea. I’m just hoping I won’t be physically exhausted from what I did in the day time.

Oh, and the other part of my strategy: accountability. Honestly, I’m pretty good at keeping myself accountable, but for NaNo, I’m going to be checking in with a friend who also hopes to reach the 50k mark. It’s more for the encouragement, really.


So, how far do I really expect to get? I’d love to win NaNo, but in reality, I’ll probably only get 40k words. If I don’t win, I won’t be sad (maybe just a little disappointed). I’ve never done something like this before, and even if I don’t get to 50k, I’ll still have other achievements to be proud of.

  • Making an entire outline for an entire book—in great detail
  • Writing more than I ever have in one month
  • Finishing (part of) a first draft more quickly than I ever have before
  • Having half a novel in my hands—I mean, computer
  • Knowing I had the perseverance and consistency to even attempt this challenge

I’m excited to see how NaNo goes, and I’m hoping to reach 50k. If you’re doing NaNo this year and still haven’t prepared, there’s still a week and a half left. *little nudge*

As for me, I think I’m prepared. We’ll see how everything goes, and at the end of it all, I’ll update you on how it went. Happy reading, everyone!