NaNoWriMo Log: Always Starting Over


There are a lot of things I learned this month. Although I had fun this month, I didn’t really win. So I decided to write about three fundamental truths that I learned from this whole experience.

Lesson number 1: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Back up everything. If you’re using Scrivener, learn how to export your stuff properly and save everything under a new file. Don’t replace old stuff. And don’t throw anything away. You might find some good stuff in your old stories.

Lesson 2: Take your time.

I still stand by what I said about how outlines are basically guidelines, but this NaNoWriMo I learned that I can’t write by the seat of my pants the way I used to. This may not apply to everyone, but I definitely realize that I needed to dedicate more time in prepping this novel. I needed time to create detailed outlines, character profiles, and worldbuilding notes. Even if you’re a pantser, you still need to take some time to develop everything that’s in your head and give it some structure.


Lesson 3: Cheaters never prosper.

While I’m glad that I have a lot of old stories in my archives, it never felt right just copying and pasting stuff from them to add to my word count. Each novel is its own unique universe and you have to treat it as such. If you find something in your old WIPs that might fit into your new book, you still have to rework it to fit with the new book.


I hope everyone had a great time with NaNoWriMo. My personal wish is that I do better next year. But I think we can all aspire to that. There’s always room for improvement and there’s no shame in starting over on a blank slate.

One thought on “NaNoWriMo Log: Always Starting Over

  1. Hi there! Visiting from your Twitter feed 🙂
    I did NaNo last year and although I am a veteran (it was my 12th) I still find it challanging and exciting. I’m not a very fast writier, so even 50k words in a month, although doable, are not easy on me. But I did it and that’s always a great sensation.

    I agree with you that even pantsers need some structuring, at least in a fast game as NaNoWriMo, or you’ll just lose your way. But I think structuring may come after NaNo, rather than before. I did have an outline that mostly I didn’t follow. But I’m the kind of writer who doesn’t start to write unless I know where I’m going, so having the outline first and the ‘thing’ (I can’t even call it first draft) completely written now, allows me to really work on structure, which is what I’m going to start just these days.
    I’m aiming at turning this thing into a serial for my blog.

    Where are you with your NaNo novel?


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