Thoughts on NaNoWriMo (+ Writing Update!)

November 1, 2023

Fountain pen on black paper. Photo by Pixabay on
Fountain pen on black paper.

Hey, folks!

Can you believe it’s already November? Where did September and October go??

Part 1: NaNoWriMo

For many people, November kicks off NaNoWriMo. While poets and picture book writers may not participate as much as novel writers, some likely do, and being a fiction writer myself, it’s something I’m attuned to for my own medium. So how do I feel about it?

I think NaNoWriMo is great – but not for everyone. I’ve seen many a NaNoWriMo calendar, and they are jam packed. For those who love to schedule and hit deadlines as much as they love their favourite food, NaNoWriMo may be a month of absolute THRIVING. Checking each word goal off, seeing that very concrete progress. And by the end, having a first full draft! (Or for poets, thirty poems, or for PB writers, maybe the second draft of a book.)

However, there is a lot of pressure around participating (though that seems to have gone down in the last few years). I don’t think the pressure is very helpful, because that sort of schedule doesn’t actually work for everyone. I know it doesn’t work for me. I can’t write every single day, or I burn out. I can’t work around word goals, because some days the words just don’t come. My own writing thrives when I work on my project for at least an hour every weekday. Notice I said work on and not write. That’s because I count researching details and names, editing, planning, etc., towards that hour.

So however you decide to tackle NaNoWriMo – if you tackle it at all! – make sure it works for you and your writing. It’s ok if you don’t have a book or a collection by the end of it. Whatever your writing looks like in November is valid.

So, am I doing anything for NaNoWriMo?

Part 2: Writing update!

I just finished the fourth draft of my New Adult fantasy novel, and I sent it off to beta readers. The mix of nerves and excitement is real! So, no, I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ll mostly be taking a break from the project, so that when I get beta feedback, I’m coming at it with fresh eyes and a rested mind. That said, I may work on a little bonus chapter/short story for two of my non-POV characters. They spend some time alone in the book, and I’d like to know exactly what happens in that off-page interaction. (And I’m hoping it’ll be something future readers will be interested in, too!) If you want little teasers for the book, I occasionally post them to my bookstagram, @bookishkaila. I’m too far out from publishing to have a date or to put too much effort into marketing just yet, but there’s a story highlight you can check out with all the posts.


Whether or not you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you all the best in your writing journey! And if you’re taking NaNoWriMo to work on poetry or a picture book, consider reaching out to me to have an editor in place for once you’ve finished.

As for my own book, I’ll make sure to keep posting any big updates here on the blog!

Happy writing 😊

Published by Kaila Desjardins

Freelance editor, fiction writer, proud nerd.

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