Updates & My NaNoWriMo 2016

It may look like I haven’t posted anything since April, but I have. I actually added a few posts about crafting, but I have officially made a new website for that (I will be posting about that soon enough).

For now I want to offer a few updates and chat about my NaNoWriMo this year. 

First up, updates: I GOT MARRIED!

It took months to plan with so many DIY projects, but with all the stress and craziness that came and went, it turned out beautiful. Every moment was worth it. I am now officially a Tsalikis. 🙂 On another note, our son got baptized on the same day, right after the ceremony. That was a beautiful piece of our wedding day. I’m so happy to call this little nugget mine.

Okay, done with the updates… Time for NaNoWriMo.

This year we had all the same NaNoNites as last year – 3 teenagers, 2 tweens, and a 5 yo. BUT we also welcomed a new writer to our mix, which made 3 tweens. So there were a total of 8 of us this year. The little nugget sat in his chair with some markers and crayons and did his doodling while we wrote.

It was a tough year for everyone. This is the first year that I changed word counts for most of the girls and lowered the counts; one even dropped out right at the beginning because of a couple family tragedies. Rough month for sure. The older girls are in middle school and high school and have multiple sports, so it was hard for them to find a time to write as much as they wanted. One girl even got a concussion in the middle of the month… Like I said, a rough month. 

I was mostly proud of Kristopher. He was 5yo (now 6), and he can write this year. Last year he couldn’t quite write yet, so he had colored for NaNo last year. It was more about him sitting and focusing and coloring while we wrote, and he did great. This year I made him a little book with lines at the bottom, and a space for a picture on top. He had to draw 6. He BLEW me away and not only wrote about 20 words per page, but made an actual story about an orange and a blueberry. By the 3rd Chapter, I gave him a goal of 100 words, and he wrote 136! Needless to say, he was the Writer of the Month this year. So proud of him.

For me, I was behind from the start. I made the stupid mistake of not outlining AGAIN. The last time that happened I was pregnant in 2014, and I failed NaNoWriMo. I need an outline; I should know better. So, the day OF NaNo, I outlined the story I was going to write, which is going to be about the wedding. But as I outlined the levels of stress, I was overwhelmed and couldn’t bring myself to write about that. So now here I was on November 2nd trying to come up with a new story. By the 3rd I got some inspiration from my muse (my now-husband), who gave me some guiding words:

“Don’t think too much about the idea.  Come up with something that you kinda sorta like and go with it. You don’t have to do this wedding thing. Think about an orange and a blueberry and run with it. James and the giant peach.  I mean…  come on.  I can envision the writer 2 days into nanowrimo saying fuck it.  I’m making some shit up.”

And that was when my story was born! It was a little Stephen King-ish, meaning it was a normal every day story with some crazy shit happening lol Monsters from no where. I have to say, it was one of my favorite short stories to write. I got to write about death and kill a few people. Never mind some other crazy rough scenes I got to write. It was awesome. And the best part?

I was not even halfway done on the 28th of November. I had just over 22,000 words…. I had given up completely. I wasn’t going to win, and I had already made peace with that… Until my last write in with my NaNoNites and just like they did last year, they pushed me with their sweet and simple “You got this Nenah.” I had to do it. For them. And for me.

I wrote 28,000 words over the course of the next 3 days and I WON NANOWRIMO 2016!!!

I am so proud of myself for what I accomplished. My biggest, most amazing, grueling and satisfying battle yet. Boom.

Well, that’s it. Writing is one of my favorite things, and I got to start, outline and finish a book. It was a great November.

If you’re writing and want to give up, don’t do it. That’s one thing I learned this November. Just keep writing. If it’s shit, it’s okay. That’s what editing is for…

Enjoy. And Reed.

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