Reflections on NaNoWriMo

I may be a bit early as we still have one day left, but I have already called it quits for NaNoWriMo.

Quit writing, you ask?

HA! As if I could! No. I just quit trying to complete an entire novel within the month of November.

I have to say, at the beginning of the annual event that fills many of us aspiring writers with hopes and dreams of fully finished novels within a 30 day period, I was crazy ambitious.

I had no doubt I was going to accomplish this task. I had participated in NaNoWriMo in the past, but never fully finished writing a novel during the month.

This year, I was determined….and then I was distracted.

Work, husband, kids, life…what can I say? If I were able to lock myself away in a cabin on a lake, a fortress of solitude, perhaps I would have finished. Unfortunately that wasn’t a option….but it would have been nice.

I did however manage to put in quite a bit of work on a few different projects. So, the drive to succeed that NaNoWriMo inspired was definitely helpful.

Here is a short list of what was actually accomplished during National Novel Writing Month.

WIP: I put in 13K words on my work in progress- a novel about a young teen girl who deals with many of the hardships young women face today. High school, parties, boys, and endless arguments with her parents. Desperate to find her place in the new home she is forced to relocate to, she quickly enters into the best relationship she could hope for. Young, popular, and the desire of many of her peers, Graysen seems to be everything she could want. When things take a turn for the worse, she finds herself in the midst of bullying and verbal abuse. Through what I hope to be a tale of spiritual renewal and growth, this young woman (who is yet to be named!) will find out what it truly means to be loved.

This story is one that I feel the need to tell. Using my own experience with teenage mistakes and abusive relationships, I hope to reach a wide audience of young women who may be doubting their self worth and unsure of their value as a creation of God. To tell this story in the way it needs to be told is difficult to say the least. Aside from having to relive some painful memories of my own, I find it challenging to accurately and realistically present the current teenage culture that is present in destructive lifestyles. The depiction isn’t so much the issue as is the attempt to keep the book clean for all readers to enjoy…but more on that in another post.

Short Stories: Another small project I was working on has been completed and uploaded to Wattpad for anyone who would like to read it! I composed a short story (very short, 1500 words to be precise!). The story, titled Understanding, is a short glimpse into the experience of Dyslexia. Inspired by my daughter, I hope to write several more shorts about this learning difference in an effort to spread awareness and provide insight into the challenges many students face every day. Take a look here!

I also completed a second short story that is a fun, middle grade, equine themed story! A bit outside of my usual habits, this was a fun and short project. I hope to finish editing it and upload it to Wattpad soon!

Secret of the Redwood: Parts 1 and 2 were edited and uploaded on my blog and on Wattpad. It is really enjoyable to publish free serial fiction for the world to read! If you haven’t been able to read it yet, please take a look here. This book is a romantic suspense novel told from a Christian perspective that is being released in serialized segments…for free! Honestly, I struggled with a genre for this one. There are elements of history, historical fiction, love, inner conflict, grief, and dual timelines involved…a little something for everyone!

So, that’s my NaNoWriMo recap! I didn’t hit my goal, but I think I did fairly well.

How was your experience? Did you participate? What tricks and tips do you have for other writers?


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