Posted in My Writing Journey, What's New?, writing lessons

NaNoWriMo – Lessons learned



If you’re wondering what it was that made me finish, it was sheer stubbornness. I ALWAYS complete what I start.

So how was it? Pretty good actually; It’s great giving yourself permission to write a load of old crap but you know what? I didn’t. what I wrote was  good……I think. The one thing with doing 50,000 words in 30 days, is that you do not get the luxury of reading through your draft.

Using NaNo for my first thriller was not easy. My first novel was written in first person, which means the main character is in every scene. This makes it a lot easier to keep the storyline in check. With my new novel, there were several different viewpoints to consider, so keeping up with who did what and when wasn’t as easy. THANK GOODNESS FOR SCRIVENER  – I ‘m doing a little dance here. I kept a file, which I called Chekhov’s Rifles – this meant that every time there was an object or situation that needed dealing with, I placed it in this file.


  • I’m more determined than I thought I was.
  • Write every day – even if it’s 300 words.
  • Read as many books as you can. I can’t tell you how reading other thrillers has helped me with mine.
  • Working to a deadline is a great motivator.
  • Use Scrivener and equally as important, learn how to use Scrivener. The more I learned the more helpful it was.


  • Batch cook before starting – You won’t always feel like cooking.
  • Get up earlier to get some wordage done before work. It will make you feel ‘up your own bottom’ all day.
  • Exercise – Even walking the dog is great to get some much needed fresh air , plus it will give you a chance to mull over your story ideas.
  • Eat well. Okay, I know I’m a personal trainer and eat well most of the time anyway, but it really is important for keeping your concentration levels at max. Plus, you don’t want a flabby bottom from sitting all that time -It’s 50,000 words people!
  • And on that last point, get a desk high enough that you can stand up and type. It’s great for posture and avoiding floppy bottom syndrome. 😉
  • Join your local NaNo group on facebook. – Big Love to all those who helped keep things going on the Essex site. Nice one Jamey85 (Emma) – Thank you all.

All in all, it was a great experience and I have made lots of writer friends and joined the Basildon Writers club.

Big question.  Would I do it again? – HELL YES!



I have been a Personal Trainer for about 23 years and I still love training and the buzz it gives me but writing has always been a part of my life. I think I wrote my first book at the age of 10. My grandmother said I would be a novelist one day and she was right - as all grandmothers often are! I live with my boyfriend Carl, we have 2 huskies who make us laugh every day, except when pulling us into bushes to chase after squirrels! I have also written a Diet and Fitness book for women over 40.

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