Monday, October 30, 2017

My Fifth NaNoWriMo

As you may already know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts on Wednesday. At long last, thousands of writers will turn to their stories for the month of November in a mad dash to write 50,000 words before the thirtieth. 

While last year was fabulous, and I came away with a grand total of 606,606 words, my other take aways were mental exhaustion and sore wrists. So, although part of me desperately wants to go for anywhere between 800K and 1M words (which I may still attempt, because I am waaayyy too competitive for my own good), my official goal for this year will be comparatively more relaxed. Because of work and a few added responsibilities/demands on my time, and because I am not 100% in the best head space yet, I would like to content myself with writing 250,000 words. 

I like that number. It was my initial goal for my second NaNoWriMo (where, to my delight, I ended up with 404,404 words instead). 

But now we have to discuss coffee. Namely, the fact that I CAN NO LONGER DRINK CAFFEINATED COFFEE. I am freaking out calm. I also appear to be lactose intolerant now. *weeps copiously* 

I feel so high maintenaince ordering a decaf latte with coconut milk and no whipped cream (and that’s not including the flavor shots I want). There are too many details to remember here, and sometimes I don’t have the energy to go through the whole song and dance of ordering coffee. #Firstworldproblems Also, when people make my order wrong, and I politely ask them to fix it, sometimes I get looked at like I’m being the b word. So that’s fun. 

Long story short, after some extensive coffee research, I found out that the best decaffination method (ie., Swiss Water Process), doesn’t use chemicals and doesn’t strip the coffee of its full flavor profile. (Yes, I am turning into a coffee snob. Deal with it.) So I bought a couple bags from a couple brands and some sweetened condensed coconut milk and we are good to go. I will simply have to supply the caffeine jitters myself. 

That’s all well and good, Liz, we care so much about what you will be drinking during November (I can hear your sarcasm, btw), but what are you going to be WRITING??? I’m glad you asked. I’ve been planning some new novels/stories to try in November. Yes, you heard me right—planning! *cue collective gasp* If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I like to write by the seat of my pants with maybe some minimal notes. For years, I spat on planning; I drowned it in the dregs of my cold coffee heart. Until there I was, one fateful day, watching videos on poisonous mushrooms because I will do anything in the name of procrastination research. When, BAM! a little story nugget popped into my head, just a scene really, which I proceeded to bang out on my superglued together keyboard (because my j key decided to do its own thing last November, and a few other keys have considered following suit). I then had ideas for several other scenes, all from the same story, so I used the handy dandy Scrivener corkboard function to summarize and organize them. It kind of escalated from there, and over the course of a couple days I compulsively outlined the majority of that novel. Not only did I do that, but I have since remained excited about the project and pleased with my outline. (Which, as you may know, is a relief, since typically when pansters plot, it drains our creative excitement and kills our prospective stories with fire.) 

All told, I have about three novels that I’m going to prioritize, and a few back-up ideas if I run out of material. I’m not going to go into specifics about what two of the novels are about, because they’re still so young—they haven’t developed immune systems yet. But I will say the third one is meant to be a complete new rough draft for BMT, which has fought edits tooth and nail for so long my options are A) start fresh or B) fake my death and take up scorpion training in a foreign country. (Option B is starting to sound tempting.) 

Now, some of you are probably wondering if I will be posting pep talks during NaNoWriMo, as I have in Novembers past. And to that my answer is, probably not. At least not with any sort of regularity. I have none written ahead—I feel like I’ve already written a fair amount of pep talks, and I don’t want to write any more unless I’m really excited about them. But I will certainly keep my options open. 

Last but not least, if you want to follow my progress this November, please feel free to add me to your buddy list! You can find my profile here. I promise I won’t bite.

What about you, my coffee beans? If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, what are your goals? What is your favorite kind of coffee? 


  1. Haha, scorpion training in a foreign county! *dies*

    As you already know, I am doing NaNo this year. Second year! Woohoo! :D I'm quite excited. ;P

    Hope all goes well for you with NaNo this year! :)

  2. Gosh, sorry to hear about the coffee! I'm glad you can still drink decaf, though. Best of luck with NaNo this year.

  3. Good luck for NaNoWriMo! And shoot, you wrote that many words?! Are you even a real person? How do you edit all those words?


    And that sucks that you're suddenly lactose intolerant. Another person I follow on Twitter also recently became lactose intolerant. I wonder what's up?

    And 250K is comfortable for you! You are a champion, Liz!

    I'm not really doing NaNo BUT I'll be trying to finish off my novel. IT MUST BE FINISHED.

  4. Best wishes for you for NaNo this year! I'm doing just the regular 50K since that's the best I can handle. XD Kudos for your big goals!

  5. Hope your NaNo went well and that the decaf coffee worked similar wonders as the regular!

    Ooh, a pantser turning plotter? Traitor! Haha, interested to hear how that worked out; I've tried plotting before, but as you put it, it drained my excitement and burned it with fire. Those poor stories still languish on my laptop because, through no fault of their own, I cannot get up the excitement to continue them. *sigh* Hope yours went far better and that you had a lovely Christmas! :D