My Secret NaNoWriMo and #ROW80 did a crazy thing. On November 12, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Yes, I know that 11 days had already passed, and the likelihood of my actually writing 50,000 words in the remaining 19 days was low. Frankly, knowing that my kids would be out of school for a week and my family would be traveling over the holidays made that notion downright ludicrous.

I had even declared that I would be in the NoNoWriMo camp–those writers who would not participate but would cheer on their fellow writers who had taken the 50k pledge plunge.

But after wrangling with edits on my young adult novel, SHARING HUNTER, I realized that I do better with editing a project when I also get to let out some creative writing juices on another project. And thus, my first book in a young adult mystery series has started to take shape. And while I didn’t announce my participation, nor expect to come anywhere close to being a NaNoWriMo winner, I did log a bunch of words and get a feel for how the website and process works.

So now I’m coming clean: I was a secret NaNoWriMo participant–who missed getting the badge by 34,524 words. But guess what? That means I have 15,476 words on a novel that I started three weeks ago! And I’m better prepared to participate in that challenge next year.

I have thus altered my ROW80 goals a bit. Check out the new weekly word count goal!

ROW80 Update

Editing: SHARING HUNTER, young adult contemporary novel.

  • Complete full rewrite. I’m through the first fourth of the novel. This is going slower than I wanted. However, as I’ve gotten into the revisions, I’ve found ways to make the story stronger that required more work than I expected. Given how long this is taking, I am crossing out the next two goals until the first ROW80 round in 2013. I’d rather take my time on revisions and really turn out a great book.
  • Revise using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system.
  • Deliver to beta readers.



  • Write two short stories. Changing this to working on the new young adult novel. I will, however, work on the short stories during the holidays.
  • Write 3,000 words per week on young adult novel. Not sure of the working title, but it’s murder mystery with a preacher’s daughter as the protagonist. Wrote 2,592 words.


Non-writing goals

  • Exercise twice a week. I am still struggling with this calf muscle! Ugh. According to a former athletic trainer and current YA author (Tiffany White, Football Sweetheart), it can take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. Thanks for that info, Tiffany! So I guess I’ll just try to start walking for now.
  • Sort through photos and complete at least one album. (I stopped scrapbooking five years ago, and it’s piled up into a big mess. Moving into digital albums.) Uploaded photos from Thanksgiving trip and organized them into an album on Shutterfly.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? If so, how much did you get done? How are your other goals going?

Keep up that momentum, and cheer on fellow ROWers (many of whom were NaNoWriMo finishers!) HERE.

NaNoWriMo is an annual writing challenge for authors to start and complete a novel within the month of November, with 50,000 words counting as achieving that goal. Hosting this event requires funds. NaNoWriMo is still seeking donations to cover their expenses. Check it out HERE.

18 thoughts on “My Secret NaNoWriMo and #ROW80

  1. Kudos for trying. And you have the right attitude about it. That’s 15k you didn’t have before. But good job all around and I hope your calf muscle heals quickly. I was in the “NoNoWriMo” camp this year. I’m strongly considering participating next year. Good luck with your goals!

      1. Do it any month you want! NaNoWriMo is a bigger thing in November but it can be done in any month of your choosing. (I say go for September, its longer than February 😉

        Revel in your achievement you deserve it.

  2. 15,000-some words sounds like winning to me – congrats on your progress, “Winner” badge or no! And thanks for always cheering me on – it really means a lot! I did get my winner badge, but it was touch and go there for a while…

  3. Over 15,000 words, Julie, that’s an awesome secret. Looking forward to what you do in the challenge next year. The round of edits I just finish were hard, but I’m so much more in love with the MS. I can tell you’re feeling the same way and that’s fantastic. You had a great week/month. Congratulations.

    1. Thanks, S.J.! I didn’t want to say anything for a while because I thought it might be a few days of writing and the enthusiasm would fade. But I like editing first, then writing for a bit. Best wishes on your edits!

  4. Like you said, 15k words you didn’t have before, and that’s great!
    I started it but had to drop out because of edits that were needed back asap =(
    Making your story stronger is more important than time, or doing it quickly.
    Bah, I hope your calf muscle heals soon!
    Have a great week!

  5. That is wonderful, Julie! The start of a new story is nothing to sneeze at. You fared much better than I did with my NaNo experience, but I went in knowing that my goal was far under the 50K.

    Getting back into scrapbooking is an undertaking. Start current or on a set project to get going. I haven’t made the move to digital yet, but I’m looking forward to the day. Good luck on all your goals!

    1. I decided to test the waters this year, and it’s a good thing to do NaNoWriMo to just see what it’s about and what pace it would require to write a novel in one month. Personally, I think two months would be more realistic for me. Have a great week, Diana!

  6. Wonderful way to be sneaky, Julie (smiles). Regardless of the whole win/lose thing, 15k is fantastic and you are a total winner just for jumping in. Good luck with the revisions and the calf muscle – being tall I get those often and know what a pain they can be. Have a fantastic week 🙂

    1. Ooh, sneaky. I kind of like that. 😉

      Thanks for the kudos and encouragement. I’m going to keep writing on this novel, albeit pausing briefly to think through structure a little more, and see where it goes. Have a marvelous week!

  7. I think it’s great you joined NaNoWriMo and added 15k words to your MS. Very brave 🙂 Good luck with the editing process, I know it can get tough and take up a lot of time, but in the end it will be worth it!

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