The Beginning, and Some Honest Thoughts

NaNoWriMo begins tonight at midnight! As usual, I will be taking a nap this afternoon so that I’m fresh and ready for 50k Day One. I have managed to convince a few others from my region to join me, so we’ll see how we fare. If you want to follow my progress, you can do so here, as I am planning to update the sheet every hour. Here is last year’s, for comparison 🙂 We will also be tweeting and instagramming under the hashtags #50kKillMeNow and #50kDayOne, so feel free to follow there as well (my handle on both is africanstardust, big shocker). As always, encouraging messages throughout the day are so appreciated and I love you all for sending them! I may not reply right away (because the typing) but believe me, I read every one.

I’ve realized over the past few days how much NaNoWriMo has gotten me through. I do it because I love it, yes, but it means so much more to me than that. The first year I did it I was so isolated and alone because of extenuating circumstances, and it gave me a beautiful community of random strangers who made the effort of checking my blog to encourage me and urge me on. Two years ago, I was dealing with emotional trauma and feeling like my whole world had fallen apart, and NaNoWriMo was literally the bridge that helped me get to the other side. And this year, I’ve had so many ups and downs, the accident, feeling utterly overwhelmed with academics, and dealing with depression and hopelessness.

NaNo is the time of the year when we give ourselves a gift: the gift of permission to lose ourselves in writing. It’s when we set other things aside and look after our creative souls and make time for this precious, beautiful thing, no matter how busy we are. It has played a huge part in restoring me to myself in the past, and I hope that, wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, it does the same for you. Let yourself sink into the beauty of what writing is and what it means for your soul. Allow yourself to grow and push and go to new places you haven’t been before. Set yourself free. So, from me to you: happy writing.

Veronique / africanstardust

NaNoWriMo 2015: So It Begins

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square*skips in* Guess what time it is! Whoop whoop, that’s write – that pun will never cease to be on this blog, deal with it :’) – it’s NaNoWriMo time! I almost can’t believe it’s already here…it kind of snuck up on me this year because of how crazy everything has been, but I’m so glad it has finally arrived again. If you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, please visit and educate yo’self. I’ve been blogging about NaNo for 6 years now, so I’m not going to repeat everything I’ve already said, but you can find all my NaNo posts here, my first-ever NaNo accounts here, and 2013’s NaNo (which was the year I posted the most helpful tips) here.

My NaNo goals: As per usual, I will be doing 50k Day One again, which is potentially a bad idea considering how much work I have to do, but whatever, it’s happening. I was going to try for The Million this year, but due to my accident earlier in the semester, I’m going to have quite a lot of academic work to do during November, so The Million will have to wait. I’ll probably go for 5k-ish a day after Day One – this will get me to almost 200k, which is my goal for this year.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late! Just head over to the site (link above) to get started. If you have signed up, make sure you’ve set your home region, have introduced yourself in the home region forums, and have created your novel. In 8 days, we begin! 🙂

NaNoWriMo Updates

It’s October 14th, which means NaNo is just two weeks away!

So for a while I wasn’t sure which novel to do for 50k Day One, because let’s be honest, not every novel will work for that insanity. In the end (the end being the middle of October, so this might change again) I decided to do something incredibly chilled and fun that I won’t ever want to get published or work on more, which is a World of Warcraft fanfic. It has lots of word potential, it’s unlikely that I’ll get super stuck in the plot, and I’ll have fun writing it because no one will ever, ever read it. Then for the rest of the month I will be working on the billionth rewrite of Shard. I realize that anyone who reads this blog regularly is going “For the love of all things, stop whining about it and finish it already”, and trust me, that’s exactly what I want to do. After 12 years Tolkien had written The Lord of the Rings and had created a ton of languages and history and what not. Meanwhile, I have a lopsided series of 6 books and counting, none of which are edited, some of which are not finished, and one of which (Shard) I have been working on for twelve years. Twelve. Wait…actually eleven. But still. Not that I am legitimately comparing myself to Tolkien, because that would be crazy.

To summarize!
50kDayOne: The Healer’s Curse (WoW fanfiction)
The Rest of NaNo: Shard books II & III, and if I have time/energy after that, I might also rewrite book I.

Now for the Crazy Goals of Insanity.
1. 50k Day One again. Which this year will also involve me racing to 50k against some other people who are also doing it. The hashtags #50kdayone, #50kkillmenow, and #racetohell will be used copiously on Twitter that day.
2. My amazing dream goal that may not happen because I’ve never written more than 60k in a month before…is 350k. Err’body calm down, I know it’s crazy. But I figure I can’t lose if I have an insane goal and get more words out aiming for it, even if I don’t make it.
3. I want to do at least one 50k Weekend, ie two 25k days back to back. Much more doable than 50k in a day but you get a similar rush. Also there is sleep involved, which is always a plus and not a trait of the 50K Day One.
4. In the past, as is clear from my annual lack of blog posts between about November 7th and November 25th, I haven’t done well with consistent writing. Usually I have a great first week, lose motivation and stop writing, then come back for some hectic sprinting on the 25th or 27th or, heck, the 30th. This year I would really like to write at least the NaNo minimum (1,667) every day and stick to it.
5. Lastly, I am mentoring some NaNo newbies this year, and I hope I can get them excited and encouraged enough to cross the finish line.

That’s that! I mean, for now. There are 16 more days for the goals to get crazier. If you would like to support NaNoWriMo, which promotes literacy and the arts for youth and adults (and allows crazy writers to have an amazing community and life-changing November every year), do visit this link, as I am trying to raise some money for The Cause.

16 more days!


I just wanted to let all four of my faithful readers know that I probably won’t be posting at all for a week. Would you like to know why? I’ll tell you. I was a very, very bad girl and didn’t *quite* stick to my schedule for school the way I should have. I now have about 40% of AP English Language, AP World History, and French II to finish in seven days. That’s right, folks, seven days. So as you can imagine, I’m going on school-induced lock down for this week. If you must disturb, I strongly suggest you come armed with coffee and food. And air freshener, since I may not have time to shower. Lucky for me, my study partner (a.k.a. my cat) doesn’t much care if I smell not clean, so I won’t have to worry.

And now, fare well. I comfort myself with the knowledge that I wrote a novel in a month. If I can do that, I can do anything. Including this totally insane amount of work.

In fact, wait, I changed my mind. I now officially proclaim this CoInAmWoWe [complete an insane amount of work week]. To win, each participant has to finish around 5% of work in each course per day. That adds up to 15% total for me. I will be posting every day to keep you updated. To all other participants, I wish you luck. We’ve lost our minds, I tell you. The world will never be the same again. Well…*takes deep breath and very large gulp of coffee* Let’s do this.