I survived NaNoWriMo 2013, and won!

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. It’s finally December, which means things are a bit more settled down in my household. November was a pretty busy month for me, seeing as besides work, I had my birthday, had to finish a Doctor Who scarf and participated in NaNoWriMo.


For those of you living under a rock, let me explain in again. The goal for NaNo is that you write a novel from the 1st of November, till the 30th of November of at least 50.000 words. Wow, that’s a lot! This means you have to write at least 1667 words per day! So how did I do it?

Well, it started with the Sunday before NaNo started. I knew about NaNoWriMo before, but somehow I always forgot about until I saw people posting their updates on facebook and such. But now I saw the message ahead of time.

I decided to check out the NaNo website and in a whim I entered myself to be a NaNoWriMo participant. Oh god, what have I gotten myself in to.2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

The thing is, I’ve been writing for years. But I’m always bitching and nagging about my own stuff and haven’t finished anything good. (Besides 3 short stories I wrote for friends, and when I say short, they are 20K and two times 60K).

I looked for advice on my local forum and the nice fellow NaNo’ers advised me to start a new story instead of writing on a story I already had lying around and to write it in my own language (I usually write in English, not Dutch).

But I needed a plot! I went over some plots I had already written down over the years, tweaked it a bit, took a bike ride (which helps me think) and Sunday afternoon I had a plot.

Now normally I’m a pretty chaotic writer, I just dabble down what’s inside my head, but I decided to get a bit more organized for NaNo. The following days leading up to the first of November I worked on my plot, designed character sheets and did my research.

And I must say, it really helped me throughout the month. I could look back on things, had a reference, made charts to go with it, wrote down every single piece of research I did. I think I’ve never been so organized in my life!

The first of November started and I wrote down my first words. I don’t know if any of you out there are aspiring writers but it’s addictive as hell. The thing is, if you are writing every day, the story keeps stuck in your head and it’s much easier to continue writing if you are in ‘the flow.’

2013-Winner-Square-ButtonI also decided to go to a write-in. A write-in is usually a public place where you meet up with fellow writers to, well you guessed it, write. It also involves huge amounts of caffeine, so of course I went.

The first time I hooked up with an existing group in the Hague. And although you can write more stuff in the confines of home. All cosy and warm and comfortable (at least for me), it’s also fun to meet fellow writers. You can talk to them during breaks, ask for advice, and help others as well.

On the forum one of my fellow NaNo’ers asked if there were any writers in the Rotterdam area (yeah, me!!! I work there.) And we decided to make our own NaNo group.

Like just about everyone else we had studies, work and a life besides NaNo so we hooked up on Sunday’s and wrote for a couple of hours. I had a blast and we almost got 2013-Winner-Facebook-Profileevicted from the café at one point for bringing our own snacks.

In the Hague I met a fellow NaNo’er who also happened to live in the same city as I did and we agreed to meet during the week as well to write together, just that little bit of extra motivation to continue writing.

Because I knew I had some days I couldn’t write (birthday planning, weekend work stuff and such) I worked ahead some days. And I’m glad I did. It gave me a bit of breathing space so I could skip a day or two that I didn’t need to write and catch up on some much needed sleep.

And in the end, on the last day, I needed to work out about ten pages of scribbled down writing and convert it into my computer. But I reached the 50K!

Did I finish my story? No, I’m not done yet, but in spite of what I said earlier that I wouldn’t be working on my story for at least the first two weeks of December, I find my hands are aching to continue.

And our Rotterdam NaNo group decided to continue with our meetings, just once a month, gather in a local café, so we do continue writing.

Is it something I would do again? Hell yes! I mean, I met some amazing people, had a lot of fun, wrote 50.000 words in 30 days, have a new unfinished novel (third one) and a new book to review from one of my fellow writers.

It makes up for having no social life for a month, almost no time to blog, living with a self inducted tumblr ban for 30 days, living of nicotine and caffeine (which is not so different from my usual day to day life), being seriously sleep deprived and looking like a schizophrenic because you have arguments with your characters inside your head.


If you are an aspiring author like myself, this is a good way to start and I can recommend it to everyone!

Did you participate this year? What did you think; did you reach your goal? Or are you willing to participate next year?

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.



About hotcutegirlygeek

Hi I’m Mendy, 30, live in the Netherlands together with my lovely cat Sir James. I’m a social worker who works with drug addicts and homeless people by day and a geek, avid blogger and aspiring author by heart. I read, write, blog, bake and create. More about Hot Cute Girly Geek

4 thoughts on “I survived NaNoWriMo 2013, and won!

  1. YOU ROCK THE HOUSE MENDY!!!! Lots of love, Emily

  2. Tekira says:

    Although November usually my ‘infinite birthdays and too little time’-month, I think I will participate next year. There are many never written stories in my head, although I think they work better in manga/comic form… But that’s a challenge! Also, what’s the advantage of writing in your native language?

    • I have absolutly no idea. they say because you supposedly can express yourself better in your native language, but I had the problem of constantly needing to translate the english sentences in my head to Dutch on paper, so next year, English it is. And when I’m done writing this story I’m gonna translate it in English as well. sigh, I need to trust my own gut instinct better next time.

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