HashtagNANO, 1+ Weeks Out

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Looking back on this year’s Nano I can’t say that it was successful for me, but I also can’t say the opposite. I went in with goals, most of which were not met, and I am still okay. After October, there was much weighing on my mind. November also fed my obsession with a book series (I will write more about that in the coming days). This book series held my attention and fed me intellectually and in its own way, spiritually.

I have renewed focus for my two main book projects and hope to begin them in the new year. I would begin immediately, but I don’t need that kind of pressure. Also, I have a few books that I’d like to finish reading before the end of December. I have really taken advantage of my online NY Public Library card for ebooks, finding several that I could not acquire through my local account. Reading isn’t just fundamental; it is also inspirational. My end of year review will include my books read since January.

However you spent your Nanowrimo, it is always the beginning; not the end. When Nano ends, there is more work to be done, and this is probably the first Nano that I’ve “participated” in that has left me in a better frame of mind than previous ones. Once I was able to accept that I would have nothing written for the Nano projects, I was able to release all the Nano tensions that I build up for myself.

I look forward to the new year and to the writing to come.

HashtagNANO, Day 13

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What can you do if you just can’t write? This has been my struggle this Nano. I usually have a time getting started, but this year is different. I have no doubt that part of it stems from our October difficulties.

However, there are other things that can be done to keep your project (I say project rather than novel because my work is primarily non-fiction) moving forward. Here are five.

  1. Outline. What do you have? What do you need? Is there research that needs to be done for your project?
  2. Write vignettes. Get the scene out of your head. No transitions, no history, just stream of consciousness that can be incorporated later on in your project.
  3. Study the history of your subject. My particular book offers some historical perspective and learning the history of the place can give you ideas for storylines in both fiction and non-fiction.
  4. Edit. Re-read. Revise. I know that Nano is for writing and not editing, but if you can’t write…re-read. Something may come to you.
  5. Take a Break. Light a candle, have a cup of tea, read a book. Set a timer for ten minutes and just sit with eyes closed and mind open. Or twenty minutes.

Take the pressure off of yourself. What are some of your suggestions when you’re blocked?

HashtagNANO, Day 9

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While this is Day 9 of National Novel Writing Month, for me it is more like Day 1. To begin, get any information at the Nanowrimo link. It will introduce you to the organization, its philosophy, and how to sign up and keep track of your word counts, daily as well as in totality.


While Nanowrimo focuses on novel writing, I think its pep talks, write-ins, and exercises work with any writing project, and I do use it extensively for my non-fiction writing.
Currently, I am working on four books, in various stages of writing.


The two big ones are (the simply known as) the Wales book and a Labyrinth prayer book.

While both have some bits written, they are really in need of outlining and focus. That is what I plan to do this week. Sometimes writing the goal down leads to its completion; or at least its beginning.


What projects (writing or otherwise) are you working on at the moment? How’s it going?