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LCP Round Table: NaNoWriMo Ups and Downs

Loud Coffee Press reached out to past #NaNoWriMo winners for tips and tricks on how to rock this upcoming November. In this second of a three-part installment, our round table group discusses the best and the hardest parts of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

LCP: After winning NaNoWriMo, would you or have you consider(ed) attempting it again? Or, was 50,000 words in a month enough to make you say, “never again?”

Marian Rakestraw: I look forward to November and find that I keep up the conversation about NaNo, and about writing in general throughout the year. Why? I suppose writing 50,000 words in 30 days proves to me that I can meet goals that are lofty.

Jaylyn McCoy: NaNoWriMo is one of the highlights of my year. I warn friends and family ahead of time that I’ll be busy that month and then disappear into my own little world.

Neisa Rae: NaNo helped me to create a new habit. It got me into a writing habit and helped train me to write at a faster pace.

Natasja Eby: I honestly love NaNo for the challenge and because it gives me a new book to edit and work with.

Michelle Wright: After six years of not making the goal, my first win felt like an amazing accomplishment. I absolutely gave it another try and won a second time in a row.

Sierra Dougherty: I’ve only had that “never again” attitude when I was in it. …each time you do it, you get better at it.

CL Walters: It’s a wonderful exercise to push forward on a project without stopping, and ultimately isn’t that what we are trying to achieve? Forward movement?

LCP: What was the best part of NaNoWriMo?

Jaylyn McCoy: I love the permission NaNoWriMo gives you to skirt responsibilities and social pressures so you can hide away and create your own vision. The mad rush for 50,000 means you can leave the dishes in the sink and write. It’s like getting a doctor’s note to follow you dreams.

Marian Rakestraw: The best part of NaNoWriMo is the people. I always recommend that participants go to live events. There is something about sitting in a room full of people who are silently writing that makes progress easier. All those people understand your desire and your goal because they share them.

Michelle Wright: The writing community and connections you make, and the accomplishment.

CL Walters: It’s so rewarding to watch the word count grow.

Natasja Eby: Even if you didn’t win, you still have something written that you didn’t have before.

Sierra Dougherty: Earning badges and the feeling of accomplishment. In one month, you can see how much you grow as a writer.

Neisa Rae: I think the best part was discovering things about my story that I would not have come to know if I had obsessed over the details from the beginning.

LCP: What was the hardest part of NaNoWriMo?

Michelle Wright: Somewhere between finding the time to write and focusing on the task. I’m a slow writer by nature and never used to plan. But, life is busy and planning is what helped me both find the time and focus while doing it.

Jaylyn McCoy: It’s hard to make it work with my schedule… So, I had to adjust my writing parameters from quiet, relaxing, long periods of writing to whenever there was time.

CL Walters: The blank page or the cursor blinking at me as though it’s saying: “Come on, Cami. Let’s go. Where’s your brain taking us today?” And I’m looking at it: “I’ve got nothing.” On those days, it’s just word vomit and journaling because I’m trying to find my way through the maze.

Natasja Eby: The hardest part of NaNo is not rereading! If you start rereading, you’ll never get further with your book.

Sierra Dougherty: The 15th. You’re already at 25,000 words. Knowing you have to push out another 25,000 can be daunting at times.

Neisa Rae: For me, the hardest part was forcing myself not to edit as I write. I am a bit of a perfectionist.

Marian Rakestraw: The hardest part of NaNoWriMo is showing up even when I don't want to. It is fine to take a day (or 2!) off from writing, but the word deficits pile up quickly. That's why people quit. They look at how many words they need to write to catch up and it seems insurmountable. Some days I only wrote a few hundred words. But I showed up every day and I finished.


Sierra Dougherty - IG: @s_dougherty16 - Twitter: @s_dougherty16 -

Natasja Eby - IG: @natasjaeby - Twitter: @natasjaeby -

Jaylyn McCoy - IG: @nonsense_and_ramblings

Neisa Rae - IG @neisasnook - Twitter: @neisasnook -

Marian Rakestraw - IG: @marianrakestraw - Twitter: @marianrakestraw

CL Walters - IG: @cl.walters - Twitter: @peeledandcored -

Michelle Wright - IG: @michellewrite985 -

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