What I’m Writing | NaNoWriMo 2017

So here’s something crazy: I’m trying out NaNoWriMo for the first time. << A year ago, I thought that was the most impractical sentence I could ever write about myself. Writing an entire novel in a month? Me? I could never write consistently for 30 straight days. Impossible.

But I’m doing it.

I won’t go into all the specifics of what made me change my mind, but mostly it was the frustration I feel everyday that my story isn’t finished. I have attempted to get this story out of my head, for almost least three years now. But it seems determined to stay put where it is. I’m in love with the story and I feel duty bound to finish, but that hasn’t helped me finish. Imagine my embarrassment when people ask me this question:

“You’re a writer. Great! How many books have you written?”
Yeah. About that.

You might have already guessed that this isn’t going to be a first draft, blank-slate story. (that might mean I’m breaking some NaNoWriMo rule, idk) It’s a story I’ve written scenes to, grown frustrated with, and let it sit untouched on my computer for months. It’s something I want to finish, but haven’t committed myself to actually finish. I hope NaNo will be the start of a cure for that.

The Water is Widemy story. Secretly, it’s inspired by a movie I saw. I stole some characters from it, but it won’t matter because it’ll never be published.The title is based on this songbut I can’t tell you how it relates to the story.

okay now, enough with the secrets. what can I tell you?

T H E • P L A Y L I S T
T H E • P I N T E R E S T • B O A R D

My story is set deep in the Appalachian mountains, in a country rebuilding itself after a civil war.

It’s a story about war and family, joy and suffering – how beautiful those things are in the world together. It’s about how devastating war is – how it leaves the children to pick up the broken pieces and make homes for themselves among the ashes. It’s about the fear of repeating history, and the fear that comes with realizing you can’t control the world.

(do not ask me how long it took for me to decide which characters to include)


• daughter of war heroes • struggles with bravery • feels like she has to hold her family together • wants to be apart of something bigger than herself • runs the family bakery • hunts in the woods and gives the meat to poor families • seventeen •


• lost his father and sister to the war • fierce pacifist • struggles with admitting he’s wrong • singer/songwriter • apprentices at the butcher’s shop •


• Stephen’s mother • works with herbs and medicines • lost both husbands and a daughter in the war • struggles with loneliness • believes isolation from joy is poison •


• next door neighbor • lost her husband years before the war • mother to three sons and a daughter • raises geese • struggles with the loss war brought to her family •


• works in the medicine plant just outside the city • becomes head of the city’s defense efforts • understands the need to rebel from inside • struggles with compromising for the greater good • solid • trustworthy •

M O T H E R (her name is irrelevant)

• war hero • suffers severe PTSD • struggles with living • believes the world has nothing meaningful left in it • taught her daughter the woods are a safer place because animals are never as dangerous as humans are •

F A T H E R (his name is also irrelevant)

• war hero • POW • suffers from PTSD • owns the family bakery • struggles with his role as father • believes that suffering can make you stronger •

So that’s my story – condensed as I can make it without giving anything away (I’m terribly secretive about my stories, sorry). I love where I want to take it, but I don’t know exactly how to get there. This story asks a lot of questions about duty, loyalty, sacrifice and suffering – questions I certainly don’t have the answer to. But the story won’t leave me alone. It’s grown in the past three years, when I thought it wouldn’t. I take that as a good sign.


I read once that writing is an act of listening and naming what you hear. That’s probably the best writing advice I’ve ever heard. And I’m keeping that in mind for tomorrow when I get up to write.

I’m going to listen. Not make things up. Not pull something out of me that isn’t there. Not worry about how much my writing will suck – because it will and that’s an okay reality – for now. I’m going to make progress, whatever that looks like.

I won’t worry about word count (I like quality). I won’t worry if I miss a day (or two). I just want to form habits. I just want all the scenes down on paper, start to finish.

I want to listen and forget that I’m the one writing.

postscript #1: I’ll be taking off the month
of November from blogging. Writing a book
is going to take up enough of my head space
as it is. You understand, I hope?
Good. Now go forth and write.
postscript #2: I owe a lot of my inspiration
to Aimee, Abbiee, and Katie’s posts.
Thanks, guys.

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? • Is it your first time or are you a pro? + What are your writing goals? (for NaNo, or in general)• Tell me (or link to somewhere I can read) all about your WIP. • Do you want me to write a wrap-up post after NaNo about my progress + lessons learned? • What’s your favorite piece of writing advice?

24 thoughts on “What I’m Writing | NaNoWriMo 2017

  1. Hello! I found your blog through Abbiee’s, and I’m just going to comment late to say your post is GORGEOUS. So. Much. Inspiration. This sounds like an AMAZING novel – I’d love to read it someday, although I know you said you weren’t planning to publish.

    I was inspired by you and Abbiee to do my own post… hope you don’t mind? (:

    Zane | Simple Impossibilities

    P.S. Also your entire blog is just really making me happy. I love your style. ❤

    P.P.S. I just looked at the Pinterest board and ahhhhhh I could scroll forever


    • Hey Zane! Thanks so much for the sweet comment. It made me smile. : )

      Oh no, I absolutely don’t mind. Feel free to be inspired.

      Ahh, thank you! I am really proud of that Pinterest board. : )

      hope your day is lovely,


  2. Your story sounds so awesome!! Your characters, too! And oh my word, I relate so much to not knowing about some of the things I’m writing! I’ve written so many different questions and I’m like “how is this character going to answer that in a way that matters???” But it’s kind of fun, too, having to learn or figure out the answers! I hope your novel writing is going well!! It’s sound totally amazing! And btw, your aesthetics are a-mah-zing!! And seriously, one for every character??? Goals😅


    • I couldn’t agree more – finding out the answers to those question is the reason why we write in the first place. To find answers that matter. *fistbump*

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, Riley!! Writing is going as well as can be expected, ha. My story needs A LOT of work.


      Liked by 1 person


    asdfghjksalkjaslkASKLJLKASJD I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY AFTER READING THIS POST HAHA <333 Let's start with:

    1. YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF AESTHETICS. wow. this post is just so aflksjlkdajd VISUALLY DELICIOUS. it's awesome. and I totally just got lost on that Pinterest board wowowowow so beautiful.

    2. I'm already in love with all these characters. THEY ARE ALL SO BROKEN AND BEAUTIFUL AND WOW CAN I JUST HUG THEM ALL?? or better yet, hug this book. at least publish ONE COPY so I can read it someday??? and cuddle it??? BECAUSE I NEEEEEED IT IN MY LIFE.

    3. I love the playlist cover and I followed the playlist so that I can listen to it later. ALSO: YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THE SONG CALLED "TWO BOYS" BY SIN FANG. it reminds me so much of your book's vibe. :'''')

    4. I really appreciated what you said about quality over quantity and listening to what you need to write down, rather than just cranking out words. WRITING IS HONESTLY MORE DICTATION OF THE SOUL THAN ANYTHING. 😉


    6. oooh and "The Other Side" by Ruelle is another song that reminds me of this book!!!!!


    LOVE YOU!!!


    • (I actually saw both of your comments, but this one was longer, so I approved it instead. : )

      YOU ARE THE BEST HUMAN. I humbly accept the title you bestow *bows graciously* I put a lot of work into that Pinterest board – a lot of time spent procrastinating when I should have been doing other things…like writing. AHEM.

      What is it with people wanting to read my book?!?! I go back and forth about publishing, and gosh having ya’ll want to read it so bad doesn’t help. It’s wayyy easier to describe high-concept ideas, than to actually write about them in a way that feels human, ya know? And I still have a long, long way to go.

      Many thanks for the song recommendations! I haven’t really thought about adding lyrical songs to the playlist. I have one or two there, but the rest of it is soundtrack music. I’ll definitely listen to the ones you suggested, though. YAY.

      I think I covered everything – THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE, ABBIEE. You’re the best.


  4. 1. these aesthetics are quite possibly the most beautiful aesthetics I have ever seen. um, wow.
    2. DUDE YOUR NOVEL SOUNDS SO EPIC. so… unique. because most books would be about the civil war itself and the conflict in that, but your story is all about rebuilding and the aftermath and that’s just SO COOL.
    3. ahem, please put my on a beta list. I’m 100% serious – if you ever need readers, please send me an email because I want this book in my life. ❤

    katie grace
    a writer’s faith


    • Goodness, Katie! What do I say? THANK YOU. My story might sound epic, but at the moment it needs A LOT OF WORK BECAUSE IT’S MESSY.

      Also, I don’t plan to publish it, and isn’t that where beta readers come in? I’m crazy honored that you want to read it, and maybe I’ll make it available one day.

      Your comment made my day, seriously.


  5. Ahhh I want to read your books so badly it sounds amazing!! And all the aesthetics in this post are beautiful, I can’t get enough of them! Good luck with NaNo and getting your story finally written on paper.
    I just started reading your blog recently and it is the loveliest thing!


    • That’s the second time I’ve heard that, and it really warms my heart. Thank you.
      Aesthetics are my kind of thing. I love them too!

      Aw thanks, Hannah. The response to this blog has been so generous lately, and I appreciate every person who takes time the time to read it.

      all the best to you,


  6. Your book sounds amazing, Keira! I love all the aesthetics!

    Don’t be afraid to write about things you don’t know about. I forget where I heard it, but there’s a quote that goes like: “fiction is about asking questions, not finding answers.” Often it’s more exciting to write about something we don’t know everything about.

    I wish you the best of luck with your writing! ❤


    • Thanks, Audrey for the kind words. Aesthetics are kind of “my thing.” ha.

      I love that line! But I feel that fiction is about finding answers too. A balance of both, really, is what I’m striving for. And this novel is about a lot of things I don’t know about too – war specifically – and it’s fun! I’m really enjoying the process so far.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wowza, the aesthetics in this post are AMAZING. Your book sounds wonderful! I totally agree with you about forming writing habits and not beating yourself up if you don’t get to it everyday. I’m hoping NaNo can help me spark a bit of a regular writing habit for me, too. Never let go of those stories that you can’t stop thinking about! Love this post. 🙂

    Happy writing!


    • Awww. Honestly. When it comes to aesthetics, I just can’t help myself.
      Yes, absolutely. Writing consistently is more about endurance than it is about writing well. It’s not good to procrastinate art.

      all the best to you!


  8. This was such a cool post!! Are you enjoying blogging? I really hope so. ❤ ❤
    I have never done NanoWrimo, and I don't really know how to…xD But I'm so happy you've got goals!! I would have goals but I've scrapped the plot about five times after plotting it pretty thoroughly…so I'm honestly jus trying to write ONE WORD in general!!
    "Write your passion"!!! Got it?! Write YOUR passion!


    • I am enjoying blogging, thanks!

      I don’t know how to do NaNoWriMo either! I just decided to write consistently for 30 days. If I finish my book – great! If I don’t finish, then I keep writing. You should have seen how many times I’ve scrapped my ideas over the years. It’s definitely a process to realize that it’s better to have a book written than a perfect book. And writing from passion is the best place to write from.



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