NaNoWriMo 2012, A Summary and Some Tips

What do you get when you combine sleep-deprivation, two kids and an insane deadline? I’m still looking in the mirror to try to decide what to call it. I’ll get back to you on that. Regardless, I won! My fifth consecutive year of participating in and winning National Novel Writing Month is complete and would you believe that the way this year played out was still a shock to me? Before I explain why, I’ll give you the customary screenshot and obligatory squee.

“Here at NaNoWriMo HQ, we are cheering ourselves hoarse in recognition of your epic creative accomplishment this November. One month ago, you committed yourself to this wild write-a-thon: 30 days of high-velocity, no-holds-barred, anything-goes noveling.

And now, 50,000 words and one month later, you are a NaNoWriMo Winner!”


But let me tell you, this was by no means an easy feat. I’ll admit, there was more than one meltdown and I very seriously thought about quitting at least twice a day. Meeting my daily word count has always taken me just a couple of hours a day, but getting those two hours has never been so hard.

This Year’s NaNoWriMo Stats

Above you can clearly see my word count stats. Pretty consistent, no? No…at least not per my usual. I fell behind a couple of times during the month and while I did write most days, I had to fight hard to keep my head above water. Here are some more fun stats–

Things about NaNoWriMo I previously thought were a myth:

– Sleep deprivation (My first November with a kid in the Terrible Twos and a baby who eats constantly.)
– Questionable hygiene (Let’s not go too far into this lest you think less of me, but I’ll just say flossing, shaving, and washing my hair were not always at the top of my priority list.)
– Incredible word count feats (3K days became common for me–previously unheard of.)

Things you shouldn’t also try to do during November:

– Start a new weight loss regimen
– Let your kids teethe
– Have house guests
– Argue with a two year old
– Create a new marketing plan that you’re excited to implement
– Give up sugar

Things that saved me:

– Word sprints
– Wrimo friends nearby
– Word sprints
– A supportive husband
– Confidence

Yes–after four years of winning National Novel Writing Month I came into it with so much confidence that, despite all my hurdles, I would still win, and that I could write more in one day than I thought possible in previous years. This is what kept me going.

Also, I cannot thank enough the women I with whom wrote every night. They kept me focused and cheered me on when my kids wouldn’t go to sleep before midnight, when my best friend came to visit for a week, when I visited the in-laws for Thanksgiving, when I was operating on three hours of sleep, and when I got stuck on my story. Thanks to them, I completed my word count goal in the nick of time and I am almost finished with this draft of my novel.

Will I attempt this insanity again next year?

C’mon…you know me well enough to answer that… πŸ˜‰

I am an author and a writing business teacher. I am also a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. My debut women's fiction novel, PERFECTLY UNDONE, will be released on October 3, 2017. Here, I blog about my journey in publication in the hopes of inspiring others to follow their own dreams.

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Comments (10)

  1. Congrats, Jaime, that’s quite an accomplishment. I did NaNo last year, and won, but it was a lot of work. And I didn’t have a two year old anywhere near me, so kudos to you πŸ˜‰

  2. Congratulations, Jamie! This was my fourth year and I won, also. I’ve had my share of challenges during NaNo but not a two-year-old. (A sixteen-year-old, yes; and that is a whole different kind of meltdown opportunity, one you will someday enjoy.)

    Thank you for your cheerleading during the last month. It helped me stay motivated!

    1. Lol! Can’t wait for those meltdowns!

      Congrats on your win, Dan! I look forward to writing alongside you again next year. πŸ™‚

  3. I see you deleted the annual spreadsheet post. Is that something you are planning on creating for 2013?

    1. Hi, Ryan! Sorry–I did respond to your comment but then I put that page to private so I could update it for 2013. So, yes, I did update the spreadsheet and I appreciate you reminding me. It has been a crazy month! The new one will be available on December 27th.

      1. Thanks so much Jamie! I’m a numbers guy and find your spreadsheet vital in keeping track of my daily/weekly/monthly writing goals. I look forward to the 2013 addition.

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