NaNoWriMo 2015: Recap

It’s December 1st, which means National Novel Writing Month is over, and close to half a million people around the world are breathing sighs of relief that they survived 30 days and nights of intensive writing.

I first did NaNoWriMo in 2009 on a bit of a dare (and won!) and since then I’ve joined in a couple of times to meet some goals. Sometimes I was shooting for 50,000 words, other times I just used it as a way to be a part of a writing community and get some other writing done. This year I hit 21,000 words which was within my goal, but that’s not why this was the best November ever. For the first time,  I have my own group of writers and critique partners, and we got to spend several weeks together writing/brainstorming/revising in a Colorado cabin (mountain view included)!


Not only were we able to spend hours on our novels uninterrupted, we had an inspiring setting and delicious food too! This was definitely a writing utopia and I’m so grateful we got to do this together. (Shout out to Maddy, Akshaya, Janella, Katy, and Erin! They all have lovely blogs you should check out). 🙂


To me the best part of NaNoWriMo is that for one month writers can leave their caves and find a community with the same goals. Creating together is so rewarding, and can give you a new perspective on projects that may normally never see the light of day. For example, when I was brainstorming one morning I decided Maggie Stiefvater’s tarot deck might be a good way to look at my plot and character arcs. (You can view my guide to doing a tarot reading of your novel here). All kinds of things you might not make the time to do on a regular day of writing can take center stage when you’re on a retreat–any writer should try a retreat if they have the opportunity!  Just the action of locking yourself away from the world and focusing on your book for 3 days straight can do wonders for your productivity–I can’t wait to do this again!

For everyone who enjoyed my previous writing post about tarot and plot, this is a small follow-up I did for fun a few weeks ago. A map of the writer’s journey:


The StarA burst of inspiration for a story

Ace of WandsThe creative energy, enthusiasm and force behind the idea that gets you to begin your project

The MoonA combination of dreaming and fear or uncertainty as your novel progresses and suddenly it’s not as easy as you hoped

Queen of SwordsThis is where some insight and clarity is needed, so get some beta readers or critique partners and see if their advice helps you

Three of CoinsNow that you’ve done some teamwork, you can feel better about your story and it should be back on track (at least until the next round of uncertainty!)

Nine of CupsThe bliss of finishing your book after months of hard work, ups and downs, and even more work

Six of WandsVictory! The final step in the process–your story is done (perhaps you’ve landed an agent or gotten it published as well) and you have about a week before the next project begins to tease you

You can purchase Maggie Stiefvater’s tarot deck here.

The holidays are here – we’ll see if I can get through my TBR in a month!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erinkbay
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 20:15:52

    Dawwwwww!!! I miss you so much already!!! When is our next get together??? BAAAAAHH, we should all live in the same place and always write together!!!!! And congratulations on getting 21k in for NaNo!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. janellaa
    Dec 06, 2015 @ 12:54:21


    Liked by 1 person


  3. Madeleine Colis
    Dec 07, 2015 @ 11:50:47

    NAA I MISS YOU ALL MORE!!! And support the idea of us all living together :))) mega cabin on a mountain???

    Liked by 1 person


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