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NaNoWriMo 2023 Update

almost halfway through and more than halfway there!

By Donna ReneePublished 23 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - November 2023
NaNoWriMo 2023 Update
Photo by Bookblock on Unsplash

Hey friends!

Just hopping on here to leave a little update. I am still in my self-imposed Vocal time-out for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you aren't familiar with that, basically you commit to trying to write 50,000 words of a first draft of a novel in the month of November. Whew! This is my first time trying it and I'm having so much fun!

I let myself get on Vocal to read a few things every day (but only after I hit my daily writing goal!) but otherwise, I haven't been around... and I miss you all. I'm ahead of the NaNoWriMo wordcount curve right now and as my "yay! good job so far!" present, I'm letting myself write this letter on here. I will also probably get some donuts tomorrow because, why not?

Let's see... according to the NaNoWriMo website, by day 13 I should be at 21, 677 words and I am currently sitting at 32, 581, which feels pretty great! I've been having a lot of fun doing writing sprints with some friends and trying to squeeze in a little bit here and there on the busier days.

I was pretty worried at the start. Staring at that counter stuck at 0 words was really intimidating. After that initial trepidation though, it got better! Overall, it hasn't felt like too much, I guess? Family visits and holidays are looming on the horizon and I don't want to get too comfortable though.

I definitely understand the view that many people have of NaNoWriMo- that wordcount goals aren't useful and it is too much pressure and all that. I agree. Sorta? However, I also thrive on deadlines, and I love graphs and charts, so the time pressure and the data tracking has been great for me. I've written more on a longform story in the past two weeks than I have in over a year. Previously, I've been prone to getting stuck on one little thing that I don't like about my story and then just trashing the whole thing. I have had to work through that in order to keep up with NaNoWriMo and that has been a really good thing for me.

What's my story about? I guess I'd call it a cozy mystery with paranormal elements. I'm pretty much letting my characters drive it though and it has taken some unexpected turns.

Okay, that's it. Oh, but here is my Instagram where I'm posting daily updates (and excuses) in my stories. If you are doing NaNoWriMo too then please add me if you want a buddy (DonnaRenee is my username on there).

Okay, that's it for real. I hope you are all doing okay and I'm sure you are writing amazing things, I'll be back in a few weeks and begin the impossible task of seeing if I can ever catch up on what I missed.

See you in December!

Donna Renee


About the Creator

Donna Renee

Hi! Thanks for reading! My hobbies include making coffee, drinking coffee, and starting to write a story and then rage-deleting it when I get the slightest bit frustrated.

Work in Progress: WOWH, cozy mystery (paranormal elements)


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Comments (29)

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  • Real Poetic18 days ago

    Thanks for checking in! Best of luck on your writings. 🩵

  • Kristen Balyeat21 days ago

    I’m so impressed! I did not participate because life is just too much right now. It’s been fun following your journey on Instagram! So curious about your story—Sounds totally amazing! Loved the update and looking forward to having you back in the Vocal universe! 💫💞

  • Gerald Holmes22 days ago

    "I'm pretty much letting my characters drive it though and it has taken some unexpected turns." I love when this happens. I think my beat work happens in this way. You just might have something here. Well done on getting so much done in so short a time. Congrats on Top Story.

  • Martyna Dearing22 days ago

    Good job! Everyone has their own way to thrive and if this is yours - go for it!

  • Mr Ahsan22 days ago

    Congratulations on 🔝 story 🎉

  • Oooo, a cozy mystery with paranormal elements? I would loveeeeee to read that! Any chance of you posting that here on Vocal? Also, congratulations on getting way ahead of the target word count! The longest I've ever written is only 5k plus words. I have no idea how you're doing this. You're brilliant! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Heather Hubler22 days ago

    So proud of you!!! I signed up this year and haven't done anything. You guys are awesome!! And love the update :)

  • Joyce O’Day22 days ago

    Congratulations! I did NaNoWriMo in 2021 and completed a 100,000-word first draft. I set it aside for a while to focus on other projects, but I am back to editing it. I set a goal of 2,000 words a day, so I could make the target if I had a bad day or got distracted by the Thanksgiving holiday. I charted everything: words written and minutes working. I submitted an edited version of my first chapter to Vocal’s “Chapter” challenge. It is called “High ‘70’s on the Orange Coast. Best wishes on this endeavor! I have decided that writing is the easy part; it is the editing that is hard work.

  • Lana V Lynx22 days ago

    This was a great drop-in, and I hope you finish the NaNoWriMo challenge to your own satisfaction. I wish I could do that, but November is one of the busiest months in higher ed.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)22 days ago

    Donna this is so neat, I didn't know this was a thing! I guess I've been unwittingly participating in it!! This was such a great insight/ motivating story to come across!! Congrats on Top Story!

  • JBaz22 days ago

    Go write… stop talking to us.😁 I am trying this as well but am finding myself on vocal more than I planned I will think of a story In my head that has nothing to do with the one I am working Ion. So, off I got to scribble and submit Good luck and congratulations

  • Cathy holmes22 days ago

    TS congrats to you.

  • Paul Stewart22 days ago

    Back to say, congrats and more donuts, Top Story badge owner! :)

  • Matthew Fromm22 days ago

    I've enjoyed watching this journey on discord! best of luck and I wish I had that level of output.

  • Naveed23 days ago

    Good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo! I'm sure you can do it!

  • Paul Stewart23 days ago

    Thank you for the update! I've been cheering quietly for you as you totally smash the curve! Mine is not going so well, but I am not dismayed or put off. I too had some weird things happen with my story...where I was basically feeling crappy about the plot and characters I chose, but as I don't wanna back down now...I just made it work...and mine too has taken some strange twists and turns and I wasn't really sure what story I was writing on the 1st and still not now, but it's fun! I am not nearly as disciplined as you. I had a challenge to choose the winners for and was entering Arid, but that kinda helped me focus on the Nano as it cleared my head. That's just the way my brain works, i guess? I need to write whatever's going on in there and then can focus. I wish you well with the rest and hopefully we can both toast each other's successes and our other Vocal/Nano pals who get the 50,000 words! Also, donuts are essential, so yeah, I appreciated that reminder! Well done, Donna!

  • Hannah Moore23 days ago

    Well done! Nice to be ahead!

  • Kenny Penn23 days ago

    You're killing it Donna!! I hope one day you can share your writing with the world, or if I have to be selfish, me. I've been mostly taking your approach to vocal for NaNo, but I've been working on a story for the Arid challenge whenever I'm done with my main story for the day. We'll see if I can finish it in time!

  • Caroline Craven23 days ago

    Strong work Donna! You’re totally smashing this!

  • You are smashing it! Well done! 🤍

  • Grz Colm23 days ago

    Great point on how you have had to work through challenges due to the time constraints where as in the past you would have scratched the idea! I loved hearing this. Congrats and keep at it!! 😁☺️

  • Cathy holmes23 days ago

    You go, girl! You can do it.

  • Leslie Writes23 days ago

    You rock! Keep up the good work 😁

  • Diani Alvarenga23 days ago


  • Babs Iverson23 days ago

    Splendid letter and keep up the excellent work!!!❤️❤️💕

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