NaNoWriMo 2020 – my experience

The 1st November has FINALLY arrived and I woke up super excited to start a brand new project. Here you will find daily updates including my word count, total so far and a lil’ comment on how I’m finding the experience. Check back daily for the latest!

November 1st 2020 – Day One

The above gif demonstrates how my friend and I are feeling after today. We have both smashed our target and are feeling great! I had hoped I would be a little further ahead, especially as work can get a lil crazy so I imagine I will be playing catch up on weekends. However…life! So, I’m impressed that I have started strong and am hoping to continue the trend (if you can call it a trend yet ¯_(ツ)_/¯)

November 2nd 2020 – Day Two

Later that day…

So, I’ve just shy of ten minutes left of my lunch break and after an early start and a stint of typing with one hand while shovelling chilli into my mouth with the other (wonderful image right there – I used a spoon!) I am very much on track. Sure, I didn’t actually write 1,667 words today but thanks to past-Rebekah I am still killing it! However, I have chosen the above gif to represent today’s writing because I haven’t actually written 1,667 words on behalf of those who are actually writing that amount EVERY day.

November 3rd 2020 – Day Three

Oye with the poodles already! Today has been very, very, very hard! I’m lucky enough to have a remote, flexible-working writing gig. It’s my bread and butter and possibly the best job I have ever had. I managed to fit my NaNo writing in before I started work yesterday morning and finish it off in my lunch break.

Today, however, life took over. I managed to type an embarrassing 300 words this morning (I’ve gotta work on my WPM!) but then had to leave the house to take care of some life-admin (all socially distanced and law-abiding – I have no plans to go to the ‘poke’ as Michel Gerard would say).

Now, with my story yelling at me just like Luke Dane’s is in this gif, I’m desperately trying to get out 650 more words before getting back to my actual day job. What I’ve written so far – absolutely terrible. But, I’m writing! 50,000 words WILL be mine by the end of the month. Oh yes, it will be mine!

November 4th 2020 – Day Four

Never, ever, ever have I struggled so much to write. If I could, I would have pushed my story in the lake. My poor writing group have received a lot of angry and frustrated messages complete with gifs. I was even a little stern with the pizza delivery guy (who kinda had it coming but it’s out of character for me). Reaching today’s word limit has taken hours and hours and hours and hours and hours.

But I did it! And I actually worked out a really cute scene that I get to write tomorrow. I wanted to leave myself with something to look forward to to help me get through my word limit tomorrow and hopefully not have a repeat of today.

Today was tough, everyone. And it’s only day 4! But I did it.

November 5th 2020 – Day Five

I may be feeling just a leetle bit smug, but come on! You would be too if you had just bashed out over 2,000 words, especially after yesterday’s fiasco! And you know what, it was fun 🙂 There, I said it, F-U-N fun.

I got there! Phew that was hard! But, I’m still on track and still proud of myself.

And 8,888 words so far, that is one beautiful number.

I’d love to stay at chat but I have to go away and continue feeling smug.

November 6th 2020 – Day Six

For the first time in this project, I was sad to see I had hit my word count. I was having such a good time! I’ve laid all the necessary groundwork and now I’m having fun with the story. I’ve introduced a beloved character (I really wish I could tell you more) and I have several more about to leap onto the page.

And what makes today even more special is that I have passed the 10K mark! I’m 1/5 of the way there – I can’t believe it. I even got an adorable little confetti page which was super cute, don’t you think?

I’m having so much fun, I wish it was tomorrow already!

November 7th 2020 – Day Seven

Today’s writing felt like a lot of babbling. But some good references were made and the story was pushed forward. So that I don’t have to write a lot of boring stories that don’t create any tension or push the plot forward, I’ve decided to split the novel into parts. So today, I fast-forwarded six years. The entire novel will span ten years overall, so I’m expecting to have three parts in total.

It doesn’t help that I have a cold, so I’m not feeling particularly creative. It also doesn’t help that I don’t have the ‘big incident’ planned. I know I’m definitely driving towards something, but, as of right now, I’m not sure what.

That’s definitely a problem for Future Rebekah.

November 8th 2020 – Day Eight

I hit my word count at around 10am this morning, on a Sunday, after getting up earlier than I should have to write. While I was tempted to use a Mrs Kim disapproves gif for today, seeing how it is a holy day, I felt like this one of Jess coming downstairs feeling tired and being shocked to find an entire world ticking away was more apt. It’s so easy to get sucked into our pretend worlds that when we come up for air it can be with a jolt. Not to mention that my protagonist had some pretty jolting experiences today, and has a fair few more to come! Sorry, not sorry!

November 9th 2020 – Day Nine

Doing NaNo around a full-time job is rough. I feel like either my work suffers, or my art suffers. Today, my art suffered. I hit my word count, but it was really just my inner thoughts and commentary about the plot rather than the story itself.

I feel like by the time this is all over, I’ll be hitting delete more often than not.

November 10th 2020 – Day Ten

I so wanted today to be a positive comment, but I feel like if I wasn’t 100% honest about this process I would be doing a massive disservice to you all and myself.

I’m tired, people.

With working and writing, I’m looking at a screen for at least ten hours a day. I’m getting headaches and feeling intensely tired, which means I’m not writing well.

I’m wondering whether I need to stop worrying about hitting my word count every single day and instead opt for hitting the word count over a week? Or maybe my body will adjust to this new schedule? We’re almost halfway through, so maybe I just need to persevere?

All I know is that right now, I need to sleep.

November 11th 2020 – Day Eleven

And I’m back in the game! I had so much fun writing today. NaNoWriMo is a real rollercoaster. I don’t have a massive update or anything particularly insightful to say today. Sorry, I think I used up all of my wisdom with today’s bulk of writing.

November 12th 2020 – Day Twelve

Well, what do you want from me? I worked eight hours and then took part in a two hour work-related event. The good news is, though, that because I have been writing a little over target every day that I’m still 14 words ahead of schedule!

So, all in all, I don’t feel too bad!

I’m planning on getting ahead of schedule again over the weekend. Fingers crossed I’ll also have time to continue editing the book I wrote during a previous NaNoWriMo.

November 14th 2020 – Day Fourteen

So, you may or may not have noticed that I didn’t post anything yesterday. I did indeed hit my word count but I just felt like I needed some time off. I have spent so much time looking at a screen this month that I just needed a break.

But I’m back today and I’ve hit my target again. I haven’t eaten yet so now that I’ve achieved what I wanted to from today, I’m going to go and get some food!

November 15th 2020 – Day Fifteen

I’m half way through!!!!! I can hold my head high, I am on schedule and super proud of myself. According to my NaNoWriMo stats, if I keep going like this I’ll definitely be done by the 30th.

A few days ago I was ahead of schedule, but a particularly long day at work has meant I slipped a little. I had hoped to get ahead this weekend but…ya know…life! But I’m not letting myself feel bad, it’s a process and some days I’ll write loads and others will be a struggle; but by the end of the month I’ll have written 50,000 words!!!

November 16th 2020 – Day Sixteen

So today, after six cups of coffee, I wrote a super exciting scene. I feel confident enough to say that this is the best scene in this story so far. And that’s definitely something to be proud of.

But, as with all things in life, there has to be a balance. After this scene, I had to do some pretty dull (in comparison) content to connect it with the next section of the story.

Just like when Rory tried to make the world’s largest pizza, there have been some ups and downs today (although my situation didn’t leave anybody with cheese burns), but what I got out of it was some pretty delicious (metaphorical) pizza (I seem to really like using brackets today).

I’m don’t think I’m going to get much writing done tomorrow because its Bake-Off (woo hoo), so, to encourage me to get as much done I’m going to go back in time (in the story) and write a really, really fun scene. I’m super excited about it 🙂

November 17th 2020 – Day Seventeen

Not only is Waffle very happy, but Rebekah is very happy. Today, I have put in eight hours of work, hit my word count, watched Bake Off (although the result was sad) and all with only three cups of coffee…say what?!?!

And I really enjoyed what I wrote. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, but it was still fun. If y’all remember I had planned to write something really exciting but got a little bit distracted today. Which is fine, because it just means I get to write the wonderful scene tomorrow.

Need I say more? I hope not, because I’m very, very sleepy!

November 19th 2020 – Day Nineteen

Hey everyone, I wanted to give you a quick update. You may have noticed that I didn’t post yesterday. Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo will understand that while it is a wonderful challenge, it can be pretty stressful.

My day-to-day job involves sitting in front of a computer screen, and I’m finding that spending ten hours-ish per day typing is starting to take its toll on me. So, to take care of myself, I didn’t do any NaNo writing last night and I won’t be doing any tonight.

I’ll use the weekend to catch up and I’ve booked some time off work next week to get ahead of schedule. The most important part of this experience is to have fun, and I believe that is important to take breaks when needed.

I’ll be back soon with funny gifs and comments on my writing 🙂

November 21st 2020 – Day Twenty-One

It’s remarkable what you can achieve when you aren’t working as well as writing. I am SO PROUD of myself, I have caught up on three days worth of not NaNo-ing.

I’ve kind of changed my writing style, it is now more of an internal monologue so when it comes to draft two I’ll be swapping everything into first person. I have run into a little snag with my timeline, but I figure I can figure all of that stuff out on the other end. For now, I’ve just added a note to remind myself.

Anyway, please excuse me, I’ve got to get up and dance around like Emily and Lorelei are doing in this gif.

November 22nd 2020 – Day Twenty-Two

It really does feel like a crazy world, but today, it’s crazy because in the space of one weekend I went from being drastically under my NaNo word count to being an entire day ahead of schedule!

I hope this encourages everyone who is behind that catch up is possible! In addition to writing as much as I can over the weekend where I’m not working, I have been using the NaNoWrimo timer to help.

I set it for an hour at a time and write as much as I can. Then I take a break and a few hours later do it again. It has worked really well for me and given a few interesting stats to encourage me.

I don’t know if Paris Gellar would be particularly impressed with my WPM, but I sure am! And I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s stint of writing. I have Monday to Wednesday booked off so I’m hoping by the time I go back to work I’ll be super close to the 50,000 word goal!

November 25th 2020 – Day Twenty-Five

So I totally hit my word count target yesterday, I just forgot to update my Nano stats, Twitter and blog. I blame two things:

1) Bake-off final excitement

2) I didn’t have a single cup of coffee at all yesterday

I know, right! So, I think those are valid enough excuses. Sadly, it has super skewed my Nano stats and now it looks like I’ve written over 5,500 words today instead of the 3,600+ I actually wrote. My bad!

Today, I was writing about a whole host of things, and am about to start my Thanksgiving scene (this story is based in the US) and apparently, it’s the US Thanksgiving (not the Canadian one) tomorrow, so I’m going to save that scene for then.

It’s also my last day of annual leave for the month, and I had really wanted to hit the 45,000 mark, but so I’m not being too hard on myself. I had a good rest and have been reading an awesome book (what else are you supposed to do on holiday lockdown?)

This last week at work is going to be extremely busy, so I’m grateful that the end of the month comes directly after a weekend, where I can catch up on my word count if needed. I can’t believe that I’m 87% done! It has flown by so fast. And been so much fun.

I also got an update on my winners shirt, it still hasn’t been printed or dispatched from the US, so it won’t get here until next month. Which is sad, but I’ll definitely post a picture of it on here and on Twitter when it does arrive.

November 27th 2020 – Day Twenty-Seven

I promised myself when I decided to blog about my NaNoWriMo experience that I would be as honest as possible. Little did I know that I would have so many unpositive days (I know that’s not a word but now it is).

All this time in front of a screen is really getting to me. I even took a few days off work but just spent it in front of a screen for a good chunk of the day writing as much as I could towards my goal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be so proud when I hit the big 5-0K word count, but right now, I’m just fed up.

Please send positivity, cake and coffee!

November 28th 2020 – Day Twenty-Eight

Not much to say today other than I really struggled to concentrate after spending a good chunk of time writing for work. So I decided to take a break, play some games and just relax. I popped back into my writing and smashed it. Sometimes you just need a break!

I’m nearly there! Slightly ahead of schedule (though I don’t want to jinx it) and hopeful that by Monday I’ll be a NaNoWriMo winner for the second time!

Watch this space.

November 29th 2020 – Day Twenty-Nine

Just like Lorelai, I’m here with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face and bursting with pride because…


I wrote 50,015 words in twenty-nine days. It has been a massive rollercoaster ride and there have been times where I’ve hated it and times where I’ve loved it.

But it has definitely been worth it!

This may have been the second time I’ve accomplished this mammoth undertaking but it feels just as good as the first!

One of the wonderful ladies in my writing group has reminded me that the first time I attempted this challenge I still had 10K to write on the final day. I nailed it then too which makes me even more proud of my achievements.

If anyone is thinking of trying NaNoWriMo next year, I hope this diary is an encouragement. If i can do it then you certainly can 🙂

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.

Published by Rebekah

I'm a twenty-something cat loving, book reading, coffee drinking, food eating, normal gal who is trying to write a novel.

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