Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How NaNoWriMo Changed My New Year Writing Goals by Savanna Kaiser

Savanna Kaiser
My first novel took me nearly 6 years to write. During that season, I wasn’t writing every day, of course. I was also busy graduating, getting married, building a home. It was a beautiful season of my life I don’t regret, but through it all, my book remained stuck on a back burner.

That story was in my heart a long time before it was ever complete on paper. The idea simmered so long that whenever I would sit down to write, it took me forever to remember where the story and I were at. This newbie author found herself quite lost in the fictional world she'd created. It took me months to write (and edit) myself free.

Thank the Lord, I did reach THE END eventually. But as I recently started book 2, I looked at the process differently. For the first time, I attempted NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which inspires authors to write 50K words every November. Here are a few things I learned during that crazy month:


The fuel may vary for each writer, but we all need to feel strong and nourished to pour ourselves into our stories. We should never sit down to write when we’re empty. What rejuvenates your creativity? For me, yes, coffee is involved, especially on those mornings where I’m setting the alarm early so I can write before the baby girl wakes up. More important though, I need my quiet time with the Lord. I’ve learned that I write better after I’ve spent time in the Word with Him. NaNoWriMo reminded me I write best when I’m fueled and fed, spiritually as well as physically. 😊 


I would never have guessed what I could do when I pushed myself to sit down and write day after day. This isn’t a new idea to authors, but it was life-changing for me. That accountability and commitment brought me back to my laptop every day, whether I felt like it or not. And the words often flowed even when I wasn’t feeling inspired. The art of consistent writing truly does feed more creativity.


Before my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, I often believed I didn’t have enough time to write. Either I was too busy or too tired. I had an excuse no matter what and I allowed those excuses to keep me from writing at all.

Not anymore. NaNoWriMo taught me to look for those pockets of time I was wasting. For that month, I often tucked my baby in bed and wrote until I couldn’t stay awake any longer. Other times, I plotted while my daughter played at my feet. You don’t always have to be on your computer to make progress with your book. Grab a notebook and head outside! 😊

Whatever season of life you may be in, look for those pockets of time and see where you might be able to sacrifice or modify your routine. Remember, this is a temporary season. A little rearranging of your schedule for the short term may help you get that rough draft complete!

I’m really glad I tried NaNoWriMo a few months ago. It changed the way I write, and my current book is well on its way to being finished in 4 months versus the 6 years for my last book.

No matter if you participate in NaNoWriMo next November or not, hold tight to your stories, carve out some time, and commit to the leap. That’s what’s most important. Your readers will thank you someday. 

About the Author
Savanna Kaiser writes historical romance fiction set during the Civil War in her beloved Missouri. She’s also a freelance writer of over 50 magazine articles, web designer, blogger, and gardener from the Ozarks. She serves as president for her local ACFW group and was a 2017 First Impressions Finalist. When she and her husband aren't chasing their one-year-old daughter around, they love to hike, kayak, and explore Civil War battlefields.

She'd love to connect with you on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. I think I'll be doing FebNoWriMo or MarNoWriMo this year. I won't have the motivation, etc., I know, but I'll use the lessons you learned to help. Thanks, Savanna!

  2. Thanks so much for having me here today, Angie! Yes, you should definitely give it a try. Whatever season or month you choose, the extra motivation is awesome. Have fun!!

  3. thanks for sharing Savanna, i took the NaNo theme and have done several RemWriMo's, currently slogging through RemJanWriMo!

    1. So appreciate you stopping by, Robin. Way to go with your writing. Keep up the great work. :)

  4. Savanna, I'm hoping to try NaNoWriMo this year. It will be my first year not to have a day job. I'm hoping that will give me the energy to succeed. That and the Lord.

    1. Hi Terri! Wishing you much success and joy as you write. We definitely can only do it through the Lord's strength. Blessings to you!


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