NaNoWriMo One Year Later=Re-Visioning

November 2, 2017

“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
~ Brené Brown

Fear of failure is big with most of us. In fact, in my last blog post way back in August, I talked about fear. Surprise. Fear is pervasive and I continue to learn to acknowledge it and manage it so it doesn’t win.


…came up again recently when a friend asked about my undergraduate degree. “Film and Television from UCLA,” I replied. Our discussion continued and it felt good to confess out loud how fear had prevented me from pursuing anything in that field. I was afraid my screenplays weren’t good enough. I didn’t want anyone to tell me they weren’t. So I put off figuring out my life and went to graduate school, where I started writing a young adult novel on the side. 🙂


…was all over my NaNoWriMo experience last year. If If you followed those posts, you may recall my fear talk. I wasn’t sure I could do any of it—the pre-NaNo outline, the word goals, completing an entire novel in a month. And not just completing it, but actually completing a story that had elements I’d never done before—multiple viewpoints, jumps in time, a magical-ish angle. It was all new and new scared me and also…

Excited me.

Even as the doubts rose—“What makes you think you can write a book like this?”—I thought about the idea, about the fun of it and asked myself what I would need to do to feel comfortable writing it. Then I did those things.

One Year Later

And now, a year later, with another NaNoWriMo looming (I’m not participating), I wanted to look at where I am with this book.

I have to admit I had to adjust my expectations. I really thought I’d have another version by now. But when IF YOUR MONSTER WON’T GO TO BED came out last March, I spent a good 3+ months marketing it—something I knew and planned for, but not in relation to my novel. So my novel sat, untouched, for weeks. But then my personal deadline loomed so I kicked it into high gear and got a rough draft out to my critique group and my agent.

Then it was on hold again as I fulfilled various commitments for teaching presenting, and more.

My new goal was to have it ready to give to my group again by Nov 1. That was yesterday and I’m not even close. Why?


That’s right. With the help of my agent and my group, I needed to re-vision the story. I dropped two points-of-view and added a new one. 75% of what I’m doing right now is producing brand new material. And that is taking time.

So…new goal: Use some NaNo tools—like timed writing sprints—to get a version to my group by the end of November. Get feedback by Jan 1, rewrite again and get it to my agent by the first of February.

That sounds so doable and yet I need to be okay with the unexpected, both in my writing and in my life.

I’ll keep you posted.