Coffee Talk Writing

NaNoWriMo Prep & Other Words

27th September 2017

NaNoWriMo and I have an interesting past.

The first time I took part, I drafted something that I printed out on mint green paper, workshopped around, edited with red and purple pen, and then stuck in a drawer.

Every fucking day year since I have done a variation on that same theme.


Going old-school with my writing tools this year.

Blast music.  Scribble.  Do laps around the house.  Love what I’ve written and want to write more.

Do life and stuff.

Eat popcorn.





What I haven’t done is plan anything.  On paper.  Or even a screen.  When I’m writing it just kinda happens.

Writing happens.  Less so than the other stuff listed above, but it happens.

Drafting, editing, finishing does not happen.

And then you’re 36 and a half.

(Insert angst here.  Get over yourself.)


Write like someone who writes in October.  NaNo in November.  Do not put that shit those pages away.  Write more.

Finish SOMETHING.  Finish a book.

Then start a new one.

So, there’s that.  More writing tips from me, such as they are, can be found here.


Blog Notes & Coming Up:

Thank you for coming to my blog party type thing.  If you haven’t already, feel free to add your links here.

Upcoming posts include:

How and why pinterest is my new favourite thing.

A bookish post from my sister-from-another-person.  I have a few of those.  Chosen sisters and bookish posts.

A guest post from me on Wheelescapades and a post from Gemma on here at some point.

Another one for the NY, 2017 series, The One Where Isla Met The Dinosaurs.

What are you working on?  

Will you be NaNo-ing in November?


NaNoWriMo Prep & Other Words












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  • Reply shaunkellett 27th September 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Wishing you the best of luck! I, too, am trying to break a bad NaNo habit this year (i.e. actually writing something). I always join, I always write for the first week, sometimes even two, then life gets in the way and I stop… FOREVER….

    Lets hope we can break our habits and have a productive year!

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 10:39 am

      I feel like I’m in good company. Happy month-before-NaNo to you. May the words and snacks be with you!

      • Reply shaunkellett 2nd October 2017 at 9:22 am

        Hopefully more the words than the snacks… I’m trying to cut back! haha

  • Reply Miriam Joy 27th September 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I can’t decide whether to do NaNo or not. I have something I’d like to work on and it’d be my ninth year so it feels strange to break the habit now, but it’s going to be a really busy term at uni and I don’t want to put myself under additional pressure. I think I’ll probably see how I’m coping with my workload once we get to November and if I can’t face it, write the book over my Christmas break instead when I’ll have slightly more time.

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 10:52 am

      We *met* during a NaNo, yes? I wish you good words whenever they arrive.

      • Reply Miriam Joy 1st October 2017 at 11:03 am

        Probably! I think I found your blog when it was Freshly Pressed, but I don’t remember the specific post.

  • Reply fattymccupcakes 27th September 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I am working on a possible book idea! Good luck with the NaNo writing! I have never been brave enough to attempt it!

    • Reply Lorna 27th September 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Katie, dude, you write yours and I’ll do mine!

  • Reply patriciau 27th September 2017 at 4:03 pm

    So many writers say the “secret” is no secret – just write, every day. You’ll end up with a lot of crap, but underneath it all will be gold. Sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? Maybe it works for them. I’ve been reading a lot of ARCs lately, and a lot of them are from small press, indie publishers, or from self-published authors. And a lot of them are BAD. I read that shit and get all fired up thinking, “I can do better than THIS!” Then I realize that my expertise is not in writing, it’s in correcting other people’s writing. Does that make me a total bitch?

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 10:12 am

      If that makes you a bitch, then I am a superbitch. Which I can be.

  • Reply Social Experiment Participant 27th September 2017 at 4:22 pm

    They key to winning NaNo is to make a writing plan and stick with it. That’s what helped me get through it last year. You can always go back and edit, and I had plenty of that to do, but without that first draft, you don’t have much to go back to. Accept the idea that changes will later come and there will be things you will like and stuff you won’t. With all that as a given, you won’t be thrown when it actually happens. I promise; just write. Everything else will follow after that.

  • Reply Kelsey 27th September 2017 at 4:42 pm

    NaNoWriMo always “sneaks” up on me and I find myself totally unprepared and overwhelmed, so in the past I’ve just upped my writing-a-couple-of-times-a-week habit to a writing-every-day habit (no word count required) rather than dive into all that is NaNoWriMo. But this year will be different!! Like you, I will plan and push myself to write more in October so it will be a better habit my November. Now that I’ve set it in writing, I can’t go back, right? 😉 Good luck to you!

  • Reply Danni 27th September 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I shouldn’t NaNo. I have so much else I’m doing. I have so much else to work on.

    Fuck it Imma do my very first NaNo. God help us all! (After my post, of course)

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 10:12 am


  • Reply Beth 27th September 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve never attempted NaNo but one of these years I really should. I have no idea what might come out of it. But I suppose that’s the idea right? You are going to own it. You’re going to rock. And I hope you share with us as you do. Looking forward to the posts coming up!

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 10:41 am

      Beth, you should totally sign up this year. Dooo it!

  • Reply gemmaorton 27th September 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Wow never heard of NaNoWriMo before but just had a little look. Scary. You’ll be great. Good luck! Can’t wait to do our guest posting. I’m thinking. Honest!

  • Reply jessicaannebreisnes 28th September 2017 at 12:43 am

    Starting is SO much easier than finishing. I’ve got SO many in progress pieces (6 full lengths and probably twice that in short stories to be exact). Time to stick with it and get one done! Happy writing!

  • Reply A.J. Sefton 28th September 2017 at 11:41 am

    Have never been in the right place to play this November thing – but I will be this year! Writing is my job so I have to knuckle down or I don’t earn anything. My car is coming up to 16 years old. I really need another one so – see you on the other side guys!

  • Reply Shirley Corder 28th September 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I really shouldn’t do NaNoWriMo again. It would be like the 7th time I think. If I sign up I always complete a novel, usually around the 100k word mark. So you understand why I shouldn’t do it again. All writing, all blogging, heck most living goes on the shelf until the end of the month! D is for Dogged Determination #Build a Better Blog

  • Reply susielindau 28th September 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I may jump into Nanowrimo, but I never plan. I like to write and see what my characters do!
    Good luck to you, Lorna!

    Thanks for bringing this to the party!

  • Reply Go With The Goodwins 28th September 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the motivation! I did NaNo years ago and that’s how I started and eventually finished my first book. Three more books later and you’d think it would be a piece of cake but with everything else going on, I’m having a hard time sitting my butt in the chair to just write. Story is all mapped out, but with so many other things going on, I’m totally distracted. Just signed myself up for NaNo and am going to give it a go (again.) Maybe I just need something to hold me accountable!

  • Reply angelanoelauthor 29th September 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I can’t decide if I’ll go full Nano. Or just use the excitement of the month to be a little more writer-y than life normally allows. I was just talking with my massage therapist, Norm, who also happens to be a recently accepted student of an MFA creative writing program, about writer’s block and how we kind-of don’t think it’s a thing. And yet, sometimes it is. Like ghosts. Not a thing until it’s the middle of the night and strange things happen (Susie Lindau has some crazy stories, so I might be a believer now). Anyway, I plan to write this month, next month, the month after. But exactly what might be a bit of a mystery. Like ghosts. Oh, wait. I already covered that. Looking forward to whatever’s next for you–Nano or no Nano.

  • Reply Lucy Mitchell 1st October 2017 at 11:11 am

    Pinned – fab post. I did NaNo twice. Its quite a challenge 🙂

  • Reply You Can Always Start Now 1st October 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I will be doing NaNoNo this year so if you want a “writing buddy” through NaNoNo let me know. Or even a few of us can buddy up.

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 1:29 pm

      That would be great. Haven’t actually been on the site this year yet. It’s on today’s to-do!

  • Reply Gary 1st October 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Great post and NaNo… yes, did it last year and actually completed their success goal; my personal one was much lower but things hit the zone and the words danced. Felt drained at the end though as the experience was intense. Fully intended to do it this year too…except now I’m a shade uncertain. Having read this I will re-open self negotiations and see if I can find a firmer yay or nay 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I’d go for YAY!

      • Reply Gary 1st October 2017 at 5:34 pm

        haha, I figured you would say that 🙂

  • Reply SickChristine 1st October 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve never participated in NaNo. I’m kinda maybe sorta possibly thinking I will this time. Maybe? You’ve inspired me.

    • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Please do. I’m actually glad I inspired you, ha! Just don’t put me on of those poster things. Unless you include an F-bomb.

      • Reply SickChristine 1st October 2017 at 3:36 pm

        Your motivational saying would be, fucking write something already. LOL!

        • Reply Lorna 1st October 2017 at 3:40 pm

          I approve of this message.

  • Reply anhistorianabouttown 1st October 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I feel like I’m out of the loop on this one- the only writing I really do is my blog! I am working on historical research slowly, but unfortunately it’s still very much at the research stage and not at the writing stage for quite some time. I’m excited to see how everyone’s NaNoWriMo goes!!

  • Reply Synnove Polaris 2nd October 2017 at 8:56 am

    I love to write without a plan. And I like to type it out without a paper draft. And so my articles always move on a different path than I first imagine, but it also turns out better than I first imagine.
    Susie sent me, nice meeting you!
    Synne ❤

    • Reply Lorna 20th October 2017 at 7:50 pm

      I think differently on paper than I do on screen, I get going on paper then I finish a piece on screen. Like you, the finished piece is all kinds of different from my original thoughts.

      Nice to meet you, too!

  • Reply Ritu 21st October 2017 at 11:13 am

    Good luck with your NaNo Lorna!!! I can;t do it because of work and time constraints,b ut I still have to finish my #RiNoWriMo from August!

  • Reply MindOverMeta 21st October 2017 at 11:17 am

    Good luck with it! I’m doing NaBloPoMo so it’s going to certainly test me for content! I have planned some posts because working without a plan fills me with anxiety!

  • Reply Marje @ Kyrosmagica 29th October 2017 at 10:22 am

    Best of luck hope it goes well. 🙂

  • Reply Gloria 29th October 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hi Lorna. I’m giving it a go and I need buddies! This is only my second time. Good luck to you!

    • Reply Lorna 29th October 2017 at 5:48 pm

      You too! Have fun with it!

  • Reply The Five Stages Of NaNoWriMo Regret – Gin & Lemonade 8th November 2017 at 12:25 pm

    […] talked about doing it, but I’ve never just gone ahead and participated in it. It was one of Lorna’s posts, here at Gin & Lemonade, that was the final nail in my NaNoWriMo coffin. She was doing it, so […]

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