NaNoWriMo WIN, and how I did it

Today the validator was posted at the NaNoWriMo website, allowing those of us doing this crazy challenge to validate our novels when we reach 50,000 words. I reached 50K on Nov. 22, but am still going with the story. Still, I couldn’t help jumping the gun and validating my novel, just so I could get all my “Winner’s goodies”, and see that lovely purple bar under my name, stating “Winner!”

You can find me over at nanowrimo.org/en/participants/crissi.

I’ve been asked how I write fast enough to get to 50K in 22 days. First of all, if you think that’s fast, you should check out the Beyond 50K Forum. There are folks over there writing 250K words in 30 days, which is absolutely insane. When I try to think about how they do that, my brain explodes.

But for me, writing 50K in one month is a challenge anyone can do. But you have to have a plan, and stick to that plan. Here’s what I did:

1. I wrote every day, even when I didn’t feel like it.

2. I set a goal of 2,000 words a day instead of the usual 1,667 NaNoWriMo recommends. This way, if I get behind one day, I’m still doing okay.

3. I wake up at 5 am every morning to write. After all, sleep can happen next month. I also bring a notebook with me to my day job and write on my lunch break, and then type what I wrote during lunch in the evenings.

4. On the notebook thing – it’s crazy how writing a different way than you’re used to can totally increase the amount of words you’re writing. I thought it would be the opposite. But when I’d sit down to type at night what i had written during the day, I’d be amazed to find 2,000 words or more at times. I think it also helped that I didn’t know how much I was writing at the time, and that I had no internet to distract me.

5. A change of venue (where your kids, spouse, or furry friends aren’t hanging out) can do amazing things for your noveling success. And it’s also much more interesting than your kitchen table.

6. A puppy in the lap makes the novel writing process something to look forward to every early morning. I highly recommend it.

My neurotic little monster puppy is so sweet when he’s sleeping…

7. If you can take any vacation days from your day job during NaNoWriMo, DO IT! I took a week off of work, and it was the best week of my life. I got to pretend I actually earn a living writing novels, giving me a taste of what the future is going to be like. And it allowed me to get in a couple of 5K word days.

I know there are a bunch of you who have either reached 50K, or are well on your way there. What are some of your tips to reach 50K and beyond in 30 days?

11 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo WIN, and how I did it”

  1. Ileandra Young – I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.

    Congratulations, Crissi. Tis an amazing achievement however you slice it and I don’t blame you for validating early. Not least, the site sometimes goes into crazy-crash-mode in the last few days, but also… it’s just nice, y’know?
    🙂

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Those last days are definitely wonky on the site!

  2. Mike Coville – Science Fiction author of the Deep Space Mining series.

    Good job! The feeling of seeing that purple bar is amazing.

    One tip I would give is something you already said, don’t write the minimum. I pushed for 4k a day but settled for nothing under 2k. Of course a day or two has unexpected plan changes and I only hit 1k words. If I would have been doing the minimum I may not have gotten anything those two days and would have been behind.

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Inflated word counts are totally the way to go! It helps ease the writing stress since you’re ahead, and allows you a day as needed if life gets in the way.

  3. Julie Stock – UK – Julie Stock is an indie author of contemporary romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She indie published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and published her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam's Story), her follow-up novella to From Here to Nashville has just been published, and another one is coming soon, as well as the next novel. She blogs regularly on her website, 'My Indie Writing Life' - www.julie-stock.co.uk. You can also connect with her on Twitter - @wood_beez48 and via her Facebook Author Page - www.facebook.com/JulieStockAuthor She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, The Society of Authors and The Alliance of Independent Authors.

    Thanks for the link to my website 🙂 I’m hoping to finish my word count tonight. I have followed some of you ideas for getting there too. Well done to you.

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Hope you won!

      1. Julie Stock – UK – Julie Stock is an indie author of contemporary romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She indie published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and published her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam's Story), her follow-up novella to From Here to Nashville has just been published, and another one is coming soon, as well as the next novel. She blogs regularly on her website, 'My Indie Writing Life' - www.julie-stock.co.uk. You can also connect with her on Twitter - @wood_beez48 and via her Facebook Author Page - www.facebook.com/JulieStockAuthor She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, The Society of Authors and The Alliance of Independent Authors.

        Yes, I finished last Friday, yay! I’m still feeling good about it today.

      2. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

        Fantastic! Congratulations!

  4. cindamackinnon – cindamackinnon.wordpress.com – Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon grew up in Latin America (plus a few years in Europe). Her experiences and love for the people, culture and natural setting of Colombia and Costa Rica resulted in her award winning novel, A Place in the World.....her background enables her to weave in details on tropical nature and geology, as well as Latin American society, into her writing. She lives in northern California with her husband and their golden retriever. Blog posts range from writing, multicultural topics, the expat experience and nature.

    Crissi – I am in awe of you and people who can do this as I know I couldn’t even come close. But you have inspired me to be better. I have just printed out your tips and will post them on my wall . Congratulations you’re A WINNER!!!!

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      Thank you! I finished the whole entire rough draft on Nov. 30, with a wordcount of around 71,000! I surprised even myself on this one, especially since I “pantsed” more than “plotted” on the storyline. More on that soon in a blog post. 😉

  5. Pingback: Making our passion a priority | Crissi Langwell ~ Author

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