So funny story, I was going to send out a newsletter at the beginning of the month setting intentions for NaNo, etc, but my roommate’s cat took a big bite out of my computer screen and in the ensuing chaos I lost track of that.
And now the month is over! Let’s talk about how it went.
For the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a challenge where people from all around the world commit to trying to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I’ve participated every year since 2013. I don’t hit the word count every year, but this time I did!
My 2022 project has the working title The Hound and the Handler. It’s the sequel to last year’s project, The Holmesian Society, a sapphic contemporary/light fantasy Sherlock Holmes retelling. I’ve been writing it out of order and actually came into NaNo with like 4k words already written, although I ended up rewriting a lot of it and moving one scene out to book 3. Most of my 50k words were in The Hound and the Handler.
In recent years, I’ve also given myself permission to write other fiction during NaNo, so that on days when I just can’t stand to look at my document, I can still get words out, so I also wrote 2.5 short stories (one was already partially written) and a bunch of false starts that may one day grow up to be short stories. Plus, I wrote a few new scenes for The Holmesian Society whose absence became obvious as I wrote the sequel
The numbers break down like this:
39,166 words The Hound and the Handler
5,287 words The Holmesian Society
3,450 words short fiction
2,151 words false starts
= 50,054 words total
In terms of my personal experience writing this year, it went pretty easily! I had some days where I did NOT want to write, and others where even though I was writing I was sure all my words were garbage, but I never got seriously stuck or burned out or miserable, which I definitely have done in the past (2018 and 2020 stand out as particularly impossible years).
I bought day passes at coworking spaces for the Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving, and despite some pretty unprofessional behavior on the part of the staff (it’s a long story), I wrote 5,000 words the first day and 6,500 words the second! That’s up there with my most productive writing days ever, so I’ll absolutely be doing it again, although likely with a different company.
Now I just have to write another 40k words, plus book three, plus revise all of them… but I’m closer. That’s what NaNo’s for.
I have a story coming out with hyphenpunk magazine next week, so watch this space for a link!
In 2023, I have stories with Flame Tree Press and Ars Medica, and one with Kaleidoscope Magazine all the way out in 2024.
Also, I’m planning to do a little end-of year wrap-up at the end of December. Keep an eye out for that!
Thanks so much for reading <3