NaNoWriMo 2012 — The Second Check In

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. – Sylvia Plath

So here we are, friends, at our second check. I hope that you are warm, well, and with an abundance of electricity.

How did the first week treat you? Despite the fact that I write every week for Persephone and my job, I always find the start of NaNo to be challenging. There’s something fundamentally different it seems to write fiction – to write my fiction at least – than it is to craft these blog posts or work reports or any of the other day-to-day writing that occurs the other eleven months of the year. I started off the week on a good tear and built up a comfortable word count cushion. And then, unthinkingly, I took Monday night as a mental health break (re: zone out with TV) and forgot about the election on Tuesday and just like that, I am now magically a day and half behind my goal. But I will not be dissuaded from pressing on – and neither should you, no matter where you are in your own project.

Don’t forget, the whole purpose of this exercise is to be writing, so if you find yourself getting stuck on a plot point or an ending or trying to craft perfection, you need to let it go. Put filler in, change the font color so it will catch your eye during revisions, and plug on. Don’t worry that bone. You have a word count to reach, not a perfect, publishing ready novel to produce.

If you’re having trouble focusing on writing, trying changing your auditory background. I’ve proven what I already knew was true for myself – I can’t work on NaNo with television on in the background because I end up paying too much attention to it and it’ll pull me away from my work. Same with randomized music as well. If you have the same problem, give one of these a shot:

Simply Noise – a white noise generator. They have three free settings: “white,” “pink,” and “brown,” which are a mix of high and low frequencies. I find that “pink” works well for my purposes. – Rain-based soundscapes. Very soothing and peaceful.


Bonus Tracks: Real, live girls books that started out life as  NaNoWriMo drafts.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cover for the novel Cinder

Semi-Charmed Life by Nora Zelevansky

Cover of Semi-Charmed Life

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Cover of Never Eighteen

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

20 replies on “NaNoWriMo 2012 — The Second Check In”

I’m up to just over 20K. I like my story, but my writing is incredibly boring. Someone on NaNo’s forums called theirs a “draft of a draft,” and I feel that’s what I have right now: more than an outline, but not really a draft either. More of a pre-draft.

I’m just over 10, and trying to not beat myself up over it. It’s the snag I was expecting (hormones and fibro locking up my brain), so that makes it a bit easier. Surprisingly enough, the urge to edit as I go is waning.

I actually like using Zen Writer for the mood setting/auditory aspects (the sound of an actual typewriter is heaven to my old ass), but for some reason spell check/edit is totally fucked, and I hate doing the c&p between formats just to edit.

I’m at about 15K right now, which is literally right on track. I was ahead when the week began because of a word surge at a weekend write-in, but I started to taper off as the week went on. Oy. Thank goodness there’s another write-in this weekend to gain another surplus of words. Good luck, everyone! Use the weekend wisely!

17718 because I just did a check in. I’m a bit worried I’m already too close to my first plot point unraveling but frankly my dear, I don’t give a spidermonkey.

Because I have a lot of free days I want to challenge myself next week to write the daily words in three hours or less. None of this ‘in the morning 1000, rest of the day 1000’ nonsense. Focused.
I’m in a LJ-community about writing which really helps and I even dared to share tiny tidbits. Ha.
I’ll probably forever doubt if my dialogues are too long but they’re really easy to up your word count with.

I’m a bit over 8K words. I’m not on target per NaNo but I’m where I expected to be so progress?

I had hoped to be able to post my completed story right after the end of NaNo but I’m fast discovering that Is Not Happening. I self-edit while I’m writing fanfiction and not doing that with NaNo, in order to keep my word count higher, has created a mess.

But, hey, fun December stuff…..right?

I cracked 6k last night, so I think that pots me fairly behind, but I was sick and really busy, so I haven’t been bearing myself up over it. When I have had the chance to write, I haven’t felt stuck much, so that’s positive. I have yet to fully despair–that will come later this month. ;)

Bonus: I’m going to a round table discussion at my alma mater after work that will focus on publishing so her, maybe I’ll be able to get one of these nanowrimo projects into someone else’s hands one of these days.

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