When Life Happens to NaNoWriMo

I am not a fan of the word failure but in terms of NaNoWriMo2018 it is appropriate. I failed. I got just over halfway and then BAM! Life happened.

Mum had a fall and I found myself taking a week’s leave to travel and be able to take care of her. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for her to get to the point where she was able to look after herself again but by that point the damage was done.

I write mostly at weekends and losing just one pushed me too far behind to be able to make up the words in time. I would have had to write 3500 a day for the last week of November to make it work. That week was also the last week at my old job. And the week where I really needed to get the house ready for Christmas as we had people staying the second weekend of December. And I started my new job at the start of that same week.

In short, I had zero brain space for writing. I felt sure that I was on the brink of making myself ill by trying to do it all at once so I didn’t. I decided to take NaNoWriMo off the to-do list.

Originally, my plan was to write 50,000 by the end of the year (so roughly 30,000 in November and 20,000 in December). Since deciding on that new plan I have written exactly 0 additional words.

Without NaNoWriMo I just can’t seem to get myself motivated to write, but here’s hoping I can change that in the New Year when I have settled more into my new job and the new routine that goes with it. I want to see where my story goes. Fingers crossed I will find out.


National Novel Writing Month
2018 Diary
Day 3

Thank goodness that this isn’t my first year! I have already proved that I take a while to get going. I have already proved that it takes me a while to train myself out of re-reading what I have just written and correcting what I have typed. I have already proved to myself that I will make it to 50,000 words but it will take me the whole month to do so. 


Day 1 – 966
Day 2 – 0
Day 3 – 1,672

There have been some lows…

And some highs…

But the most important thing to remember is that the story has started! 

Well that and I can fix the fact that I am dancing between different tenses later. 

Tools I used today: 

Book Cover Experiments

While I continue to #NaNoPrep and get excited for Thursday, I have been playing around with ideas for book covers. Canva is a great (and free) tool for this as it allows you to duplicate and tweak things easily. Here is what I came up with:

As you can probably tell, much of my story takes place in a forest. 

A Change of Plan

While on a walk recently, I decided to drastically changed a key part of my story. Initially, two of my characters were going to wash down stream and then have to work their way back to where they live. Now, only the MC will be washing down stream and will meet a cast of additional characters once there. 

Earlier this year when I read a book about the impact of gender pronouns I started thinking about whether there could ever be a world where they were removed completely. It occurred to me that because these words were so ingrained in our society it would be difficult. But what if society got a do-over? 

What would you change? 

I started thinking about all of the problems in society today and what I could do to fix them. One of them was to remove the issue of people being different. Everyone wears what are essentially grey sacks (so no one has a shape) and has their hair cut really short (or maybe hair doesn’t grow any more – it is a post apocalyptic world after all). People are taught to notice things (for ‘things’ read ‘differences’) but to not pass judgement on them (taking the idea from meditation – notice but pass no judgement). 

People are also not allowed to touch. Lets face it, sex is the most natural thing in the world, but my goodness does it screw things up. Instead people are taught to self pleasure but this isn’t seen as a sexual act. No one knows what sex is! (Population is controlled another way) 

People don’t know what sex is, or what people’s biological sex is. They have no sense of whether they are a boy or a girl. They have no idea if anyone else looks the same as them under their sacks. 

There is no closeness in society at all.

 It should be pretty obvious dear reader that some people are going to have their eyes opened across the course of the story! 

NaNoWriMo Prep

Today I have spent some time researching using The Better Novel Project. I am determined to go into NaNoWriMo this year with more of a plan than last time.

@mystorynotes (1).png

I am using ‘The Master Outline‘ that has been put together by Christine over at The Better Novel Project. She has deconstructed novels such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight and pulled together a list of key elements.

While this isn’t a new idea (I attended many a lecture on how there are only a limited number of stories) it is helpful to curtail my ideas into a structure that I can work through during November. In fact, Christine has been helpful enough to break her Master Outline into a 30 day plan especially for NaNoWriMo.