November is National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo 2021) and this year I’ve been taking part and documenting my efforts to write a 50,000-word novel in a single month on Instagram and on the Words & Nerds Podcast’s NanoWriMo special series.
I took part in Nano last year, too, alongside writers Dani Vee, Adrian Beck and Julianne Negri. I didn’t quite make the 50,000-word goal but I did make it by about mid-December and I’m pleased to say that the middle-grade novel I wrote, Cop & Robber, will be published in July 2022 by Penguin Random House Australia.
This year, it’s Dani, Adrian, Cristy Burne and myself and each week on the podcast, throughout November, we compare our word counts, talk about the challenges and wins of the week and one of us introduces a surprise special guest. (The episode embedded below has a galaxy of special guests and heaps of pro writing tips.) I’m tackling another middle-grade novel, Scar Town this year. It’s a book I’ve attempted to write four or five times before (and failed). I have notes on it that date back to 2009, so there’s a chance I won’t make it, but it’s feeling pretty good as it goes down on the page, so I’m hoping that, this time, I’ll make it through and, with any luck, it can be published in 2023!
Daily Writing Schedule – NanoWriMo 2021
Here’s an Insta post from a few days ago giving insight into my daily writing practice and the importance of Morning Pages first thing:
‘I start each day at about 5.30, writing in a notebook. I roll out of bed, start scratching down the words. It’s a compulsion. I often wonder why or what it matters. Sometimes an idea comes along. A lot of the time it doesn’t. But there’s comfort in trying to capture the moment on the page, some authentic detail, a fragment of a dream. You never know where it’s going to take you, but those pages are the place you find your natural way of writing and of being and you work through your preoccupations. It’s the engine room for good stories and maybe a good life.’
For more writing inspiration, thoughts, tips and pics, check out Instagram or have a listen to our eps on Words & Nerds. (There’s one below.) And it’s not too late to join NanoWriMo 2021 and thrash out a first draft of a novel!