I discovered Nanowrimo in 2014, somewhere in the depths of Chuck Wendig’s blog. It was the end of November so I’d missed the official ‘Nano’ boat, but I was so inspired by the concept that I whipped up a colourful excel spreadsheet to track my progress, and began December 1st. My aim was to hit 40k words by New Years Eve – a lofty goal but I did it, and it felt bloody amazing! I then printed every page and stared proudly at the glorious pile of shit I had produced. It was bad, but the exercise was priceless. I proved I could do it!

2015 was my first official Nanowrimo, and I could finally say the word without sounding it out slowly in my head beforehand. I signed up early, joined a few forums and plotted and planned like a madwoman. I felt like a proper Nanoer. Then, about 10 days and 20k words in, I dropped and broke my laptop. My Nano was over, and I was as broken as the 12-inch Retina display.

After a few drinks and a tear or two, I convinced myself it was probably the universe saving me from another pile of shit, and started again. And I’m so grateful I did, because what I wrote was infinitely better and ended up getting me onto the Curtis Brown Creative course. Cheers universe

Fast-forward to November 2016. I now religiously back-up, and carry my laptop with two hands. I signed up again, but unlike previous years I’m not starting from scratch, instead I’m using the month to rewrite and edit my current MG WIP. I’m still aiming for the big 50k, but 16 days in I only have 18,821 words under my belt. I’m still hopeful I’ll get there – the little word count graph says I can still get there. So watch this space. Nano is not over.


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