NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One

I have no intro for this. The past few years I’ve been updating my weekly progress for NaNo. So, I’m doing it again. Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 1 | Creative writing | writing | patreon | short story | flash fiction |

My daily goal is always to write 2,000 words. I like the even number over 1,667 words. I also try my best to get it done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around at the end of the month. Here’s how I’m doing so far.

Word Count

Day 1: 2,203
Day 2: 2,125
Day 3: 2,175
Day 4: 2,114
Day 5: 2,061
Day 6: 2,132
Day 7:
Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week One Total:

Not bad, right? I had a steady stream of words each day. Day 3 was Saturday as well as Double-Up Day. I don’t know why I thought Double-Up Day was later in the month, but I wasn’t planning on that. When I found out I had decided to attempt 4,000 words.

I ended up not getting the chance to write until much later at night. I usually write early in the morning but I didn’t make my word count that day until around 10-10:30 at night. It just so happened that other things were going on that day (good things, of course) and I had decided to put my attention towards that instead of focusing on writing.

I thought Sunday, November 4, would be a good day to write 4,000 words and pretend I did it for my own Double-Up Day, but that didn’t happen either. I was at church for a few hours, got my 2k in, and then had other work that needed to be done. Maybe this weekend I can aim to give myself a mini writing marathon.


I spent the whole week working on my Short Story Sunday 2019 project. That is, if you don’t know, 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year.

I also put the last finishing touches of November’s short story for my patrons. They’ll be getting their exclusive story from me on Saturday, November 10. If you’d like to receive a patron-only short from me each month, then please join me on Patreon for only $1 a month. If you want to see what it’s all about, you can check out my Patreon page here.

I’ve also been working bit by bit on Sunday Morning. I’ll have more information on that as soon as I can, but if you’d like to be the first to know, then Patreon is a great place to be.

NaNo Week One

I can’t believe the first week of NaNo is already done. It was a good week though and I feel like I got a lot done. I’m happy with my progress and I’m looking forward to what I’ll get done in week two.

How did week one go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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NaNoWriMo 2016: Week One Recap

A week has already come and gone for NaNoWriMo. Can you believe it?

I can’t.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week One Recap

Word count

1. 2,309
2. 2,073
3. 2,067
4. 2,198
5. 4,035
6. 2,031
7. 2,055
Total: 16,768 (5,101 words ahead of schedule)

My daily goal is to write at least 2,000 words. I’ve been pretty consistent sticking to that. Day 5 was Saturday and Double-Up Day. I double my daily goal and reached 4,000 words within three hours. It was a very productive day!

Short stories

I didn’t keep track of how many stories I wrote each day, but I’ve written a total of 14 short stories out of 52.

I’ve been aiming for each story to be about 1,000 words long. Most of them are, but there are three or four stories that are 2,000 words long. There’s also two or three that are less than 1,000 words. One is actually a poem instead of a short story that one reached just shy of 200 words.

I figured out all my prompts before NaNo started so I’ve been jumping around and writing these stories out of order. I have Short Story Sunday written for all of January and February. March is almost done and then I have a story or two for some of the other months.

The process

Writing has been going smoothly. Like I said, I have all the prompts assigned to a date. I’ve been jumping around and writing the prompts that I feel like writing first instead of going in order of the dates. I think that’s been helping me keep up the momentum of writing every day.

A couple of the short stories I absolutely love and I think they may even be novel ideas someday.

Week two

This first week went so well. I have a few days off of work in week two, so I think I’ll be able to write more this week than I did last week, even though week two is considered “the slump” week.

How is NaNoWriMo treating you? Are you enjoying your writing project so far? Let me know in the comments! 

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8 Tips for a Wonderful NaNoWriMo

Writing is hard. Participating in NaNoWriMo is harder.

Yet, there are many things you can do to control whether or not you reach your goal.

8 Tips for a Wonderful NaNoWriMo

1. Write what you think is right for you

Camp NaNoWriMo is way more flexible than NaNoWriMo in November. During November you have to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel. Of course, not everyone does that and neither should you. Are you in the middle of writing a novel? Then keep going. Add 50,000 more words to it. Are novels not your thing? Write 50,000 words of poetry or short stories. Write something that you want to write, something that you’ll be in love with all month long. Otherwise, you’ll lose momentum and that 50,000-word goal will slip from your grasp.

2. Find your time

Are you a morning person? Write as soon as you get up. If you have work, wake up a little earlier to get some writing done. That’s what I do. If you work better in the afternoon or at night, then set aside a certain time to get your writing done. I write from 5:45-6:45/7 in the morning every weekday. I write 2,000 words in that time and then I’m done for the day (unless I feel like writing/have the time to write later on). Having the same time of day every day helps your brain get into that creative mode.

3. Embrace the mistakes

Can’t figure out how to spell a word? Don’t worry about it, that red line will remind you to fix it later. Need to research something? Put it in bold and make a note to look it up later. All first drafts are terrible. As long as you get your ideas down on paper, that’s all that matters.

4. Use prompts

Feeling stuck on what to do next? Are your characters tired and coming to a halt in action? Look up some writing prompts and include them in your novel. You may or may not like them, but it will keep you writing and you can edit it out later.

5. Accept encouragement and give support

The world of writing has the best community ever. Meet some writer friends through NaNo and cheer each other. Find some writer friends in real life and relate with one another whether they do NaNo or not. Don’t do NaNo alone and don’t let others do it alone.

6. Reward yourself

Did you meet your daily word count? Did you reach 25,000 words? 50,000? 50,000 in two weeks? Reward yourself! Give yourself small rewards for reaching your daily goal and give yourself something big when you reach the end and win. I always buy myself a new video game if I reach 50,000 words. Video games are expensive, they’re something I love, and something I don’t buy myself often. I think it’s a great reward for NaNo.

7. Take breaks

Making a lot of typos? Falling asleep at the computer? Are you starting to feel a bit dizzy or maybe your eyes are crossing from the bright screen? Walk away from the computer and take a break. Your body and mind needs to rest, no matter what your word count is.

8. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished

Whether you wrote 50,000 words in 30 days or 500 words in 30 days, be proud. You took on a tough challenge, you met new people, came up with new ideas, and wrote something. Whatever you write is more than what you would have had if you didn’t participate in NaNo. Don’t feel like a failure if you don’t reach 50,000, be happy that you tried and you did your best. Remember, November is a busy month. Holidays, family, friends, sicknesses, and life in general, get in the way.

What tips do you have for writers participating in NaNoWriMo?

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This Loss is a Win

Camp NaNoWriMo is officially over for another year. I’m proud to say that my winning streak has broken.

This would have been my fifth win in a row, but I never reached 50,000 words. I only made it to 33,259 words. While it feels weird not to make it to 50k, I’m oddly okay with not winning that certificate.

Losing Camp NaNo July 2016 Rachel Poli

I decided to add 50,000 words to my already 50,000-word novel Hunter. As I continued the story where I left off last July, I slowly realized that the story most likely wasn’t going to need another 50k. But I kept writing anyway because… why not?

I think I only added another 20k or 25k or so to the novel before the draft was complete.

I was going to edit it but didn’t want to start it right away. So, I decided to write some Short Story Sundays.

I ended up finishing those for the rest of the year leaving me with the word count I have now: 33k.

I had hoped to get a lot of handwriting done while I was away on vacation. That didn’t work out as I only wrote about 550 words one night and that was it. However, I hung out with my parents and cousins instead so I’m not complaining about not getting any writing done.

There was one day left when I got home and I wondered if I was able to bang out a bunch of words by August 1.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had already won Camp.

No, I didn’t reach my goal of writing 50,000 words in one month. But I got over half, which is better than nothing, I completed the first draft of another novel, and I also completed five months of Short Story Sundays (which is a load off my shoulders, seriously).

NaNo is just about getting the words down. It’s about quantity, not quality. The first draft of everything is crap. The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

That’s what I did. I got the first draft down. I wrote a bunch of shorts.

So I wasn’t able to print out that winner’s certificate or get the winner’s badges.

But I did win.

Unofficially, but I’m counting it.

Did you win Camp NaNo last month? How did your writing go?

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Final Update: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016

I’ll be going away on vacation in a couple of days so my main goal for Camp this month was to write 50,000 words by the 22nd.

Since I finished my novel pretty early, I decided to finish off those words by writing short stories.

So, let’s see how I did.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016 Stats Rachel Poli

In order to make 50,000 words by the 22 of July, I had to write 2,500 words a day. As you can see from my stats, I started off so well.

Once I finished the first draft of my novel, Hunter, writing became harder. It’s easier to bang out nearly 3,000 words for one continuous story, but not so much when you’re writing short stories.

I decided to write some Short Story Sundays in advance to finish off my word count. I wrote and wrote and wrote and thought it would be easy.

It’s not.

I wrote one story and was proud when I tallied up the word count. I had only written 637 words. I thought I had at least 1,000 by the time the story was done.

It’s hard to figure out what to write next, too. I often sat there for a while trying to find a prompt for the next short story.

You would think writing short stories would be easier than adding words to a novel, but for some strange reason, it’s just not.

Not to mention that I only have about four short stories left to write for the rest of 2016. That’s not going to bring my count up to 50,000. So what am I going to do then?

Oh, I’m sure you’ve also noticed that I’ve gotten behind in my word count and then caught up and then got behind again and so on. That never happens to me, so we’re just not even going to talk about it.

I do plan on bringing a notebook or two on vacation with me. I think whatever I write up there, whether they’re short stories or beginning a new novel (yes, I thought of another new novel idea), I’m going to tally that up.

So this month, for Camp, I added words to a novel, I wrote a bunch of short stories, and I’ll be handwriting something completely different.

This month has been all over the place.

And it’s been a challenge indeed.

How has Camp NaNoWriMo been treating you this month?

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