The NaNo Diaries: What I Did This Month

November, for me, is typically a slower month, with the exception of the usual Thanksgiving craziness.

This month was a little different.

I decided, at the last minute, to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Which meant that this November was going to be unlike any other November I had ever had.

As I expected, there were crazy moments of stress and pressure. There were also beautiful moments of inspiration and pride and laughing my head off. 

See that there on the floor? That’s my head.

Anyway. Here are just a few things I did this November…

1. Scared myself with creepy characters.

Yes, I did. I actually broke into gooseflesh at one point.

Some of my characters are scary, mon…

2. Got so excited when I introduced my favorite character. Who may or may not be Makovu.

Image result for let it begin bolt gif

Okay, fine, who am I kidding? It was Makovu.

3. Ate an unhealthy amount of tortilla chips and salsa.

Because tortilla chips and salsa are an delicious… And one of the only ones we keep in the house all the time.

4. Scrubbed every surface of my house.

Random, right?

Oh, well. It was refreshing to get a break from thinking about plot holes and timelines and character arcs.

Image result for too much of it darling gif

5. Made an “Inspiration Binder” which I ended up being quite proud of.

At first, I felt guilty because it seemed like just another way to procrastinate.

In the end, though, I was glad that I made it. The snippets and drawings and writing rules and tips became an instant inspiration when I was running low on excitement about writing.




6. Memorized most of Hamilton.

What can I say? I love musicals.

Many of you may not know this about me but my love for writing pales in comparison to my love for acting.

So I blame my inner actor when my first reaction to watching a musical is “I must memorize the entire thing immediately!”

Needless to say, my brothers are less-than-pleased with this unexpected turn of events.

But I don’t care. I love it.


Image result for tangled gifs

My favorites so far are Nonstop, Wait For It, That Would Be Enough, Guns And Ships, Room Where It Happens, and Helpless. Check them out.

7. Played football on breaks.

Not the tackle kind.

In case you were wondering.

Just the throw-and-catch variety. If you must know, my skills have improved drastically in recent months.

As in, I no longer run away shrieking when the football is thrown in my direction.

It’s an improvement, believe me.

8. Maintained the appearance of doing school.

Notice that all-important word “appearance.”

Because, honestly, I got a digustingly little amount of schoolwork done.

It’s not too big of a deal, though. I was ahead anyway.

9. Read absolutely nothing, which is… shocking.

A whole month – or, you know, sixteen days, which is almost the same thing – without reading?


10. Wrote 2,000 words each day at first.

I figured that this would fulfill my quota and get me ahead by a little bit each day.

After a few days, I realized that 3,000 words wasn’t that difficult for me to squeeze in.

So I picked up my pace.

On days when I had more time, I shot for 4- or 5,000 words.

Image result for pirates of the caribbean running gif

My sudden sense of urgency may or may not have been due to superhumans Cait, Mary, and Christine.

11. Ate meals with the family.

Shocking, isn’t it?

Based on what everyone else was saying, NaNo meant sacrificing leaving the house, eating regular meals, sleep, and communicating with family members.

Don’t ask me how I managed it, but my life looked exactly the same as it always does. I left the house on Wednesdays and Thurdays to interact with humans, just like I always do. I ate three meals a day, just like I normally do. I spent all day trying to concentrate on school and failing, just like I always do. I got, on average, eight hours of sleep each night, just like I always do.

Image result for tangled gifs

12. Celebrated Thanksgiving just like I always do.

Thanksgiving is my second-favorite holiday.

Christmas is my favorite. But Thanksgiving comes close.

All that cooking. All that food. My nieces and nephews. Fall colors. Leftovers.

Thanksgiving rocks, mon.

12. Wrote 50,000 words.

I have been made aware of the fact that this is indeed the point of NaNo.

I may have forgotten why it was that I was slaving away so tirelessly while I was in the thick of things.

14. Hung out with my nieces and nephews because they are my favorite humans on the planet.

Family is everything.

Feel free to break out the tissues.

Image result for mushu gif my bunny slippers

15. Found time to write blog posts.

I find it ironic that the same month I participated in National Novel Writing Month was the same month I wrote double the amount of blog posts I normally do.


16. Stayed up late.

I said I got about the same amount of sleep as I normally do. I never said that I got enough.

I love sleep.

In my humble opinion, you can never get enough sleep.

Most people survive on four or five hours.

I like to get ten, though I typically get closer to eight.

17. Got up early. So early.

Too early.


18. Was thankful for the schedule button that saved my blog.

November is the month of thankfulness, yes?

I am thankful for that lovely little “schedule” button.

My blog lives because of that button right there.

So. What did you do this month? What are you thankful for? Did you participate in National Novel Writing Month? How goes the writing? Are you done? Are you close? And, most importantly, have you listened to the Hamilton soundtrack? Which are your favorite tracks?


37 thoughts on “The NaNo Diaries: What I Did This Month”

  1. OH MY GOSH HAMILTON *flails* I listened to it once, and ever since I’ve been stuck on musicals. I’ll never be able to stop finding and listening to new ones, unless somehow they tragically stop being created. (Though I still have a good deal of old Broadway ones that I’ve never listened to.) I’ve gone through so many phases of my favorite songs that I don’t even know. I LOVE IT ALL. Originally, I liked Burn the best. Then I liked the Cabinet Battles the best. Then I liked Non-Stop and Wait for It, and the last time I recall having a distinct favorite, it was Take a Break. *flails again*

    I definitely read this month, but it was all mainly schoolwork. (While I don’t know if taking notes in my history textbook counts as “reading,” I think that reading Twelfth Night for literature does.)

    NaNo is going decently, I’ll elaborate in my post that will (hopefully!) be up later today.

    As for thankfulness… family. Greek cookies. YES GREEK COOKIES. Also post-its. I would have died by this point of NaNo without post-its to keep track of random, new, relevant information that my fingers typing on the keyboard spew out.



      Seriously though, Burn makes me want to weep for three hundred years at Hamilton’s weakness/regret/destroyed family… *angry crying*

      Ohmygoodness, yes! After Hamilton happened I literally got aaaaaaaaalllllll the musicals on Spotify! I think that playlist has nearly five hundred songs on it???? *happy sigh* I have Les Mis, Wicked, Fiddler On The Roof, Mary Poppins, In The Heights (also by Lin-Manuel Miranda!!!), The Newsies, Hairspray, my favorite Disney musicals, South Pacific, The King And I, My Fair Lady, Camelot… *Kit is probably dead from boredom at this point*…

      Also The Cabinet Battles!!!!

      Wait For It and Nonstop are some of my all time favorites!!!!!

      Take A Break actually makes me laugh. Anthony Ramos playing a nine-year-old is just too hilarious!!!!

      Oh, how sad! Luckily I have a fantastic lit program that assigns such good books that it feels like reading for pleasure (and, who I am I kidding, I manage to squeeze in a decent amount of that as well!)! Twelfth Night wasn’t actually that bad, though???????

      Can’t wait! 😉

      Yes, family! What would we do without them anyway??? Also I have never had a Greek cookie but definitely want to now!!! Sadly, I have no posts its *distant wailing* and I felt their absence acutely… *soft weeping*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right?? I feel so terrible for poor Eliza…
        Ooh, that’s great! I’ve just been listening to them on Youtube so far. 😀 ALSO, NO I AM NOT DEAD FROM BOREDOM I AM VERY MUCH ALIVE AND LISTENING
        I haven’t heard Les Mis, Wicked, or In the Heights, though I really want to and I intend to listen to them all after NaNo. As for Fiddler on the Roof and Newsies, I LOVE THOSE TWO SO MUCH! My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins are great, too. *annoyingly points at her comment from a while ago* *whispers* I also highly recommend Little Women.
        Ooh, that’s really nice. No, it wasn’t (and it’s extremely amusing to explain, oh my goodness. Way more complicated that you’d think) and I’ve so far really enjoyed all the books I’ve read for school this year. Although technicalities of history can be a teensy bit dry, even if I love history normally…
        Family is amazing. Seriously. We would not survive without them!!
        Greek cookies are also amazing, but they’re not very sweet and they’re usually pretty hard. (Nothing like a soft chocolate chip cookie or anything.) I only get them twice or three times a year, whenever I visit my grandparents, and so my cousins and I eat waaay too many cookies when we go.
        You survived without them, though! That’s good! *comforts Kate and hands over tissues and post-its*


        1. I knooooooow!!! Honestly, if they hadn’t written It’s Quiet Uptown, I think my heart may have broken into tiny slivers. (What am I saying??? It’s Quiet Uptown BROKE my heart into tiny slivers!!!)

          You should try Spotify!!!! Totally free (if you don’t mind ads every thirty minutes or so…)!!!!

          I have pretty much aaaaaall of Les Mis memorized, but haven’t listened to much Wicked or any In The Heights.

          I know a couple songs from Fiddler On The Roof, but haven’t tried Newsies yet, so I’m glad to have a recommendation!

          Ah, yes! I must go check Spotify for Little Women immediately!!!

          Gotcha! Your grandparents are Greek, I take it?

          *Kate is revived*

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Apparently Eliza wails after Philip dies, but it’s right after the song ends. Just the knowledge of that unheard weeping makes going into It’s Quiet Uptown even sadder.

            Did you notice that in The Election of 1800, Hamilton was singing It’s Quiet Uptown in the background?? My heart had already broken in two, but that’s what crushed it to pieces.

            *made an account and saved almost all the musicals you listed* I’m probably going to totally overuse Spotify starting in a few days!! Thanks for recommending it, I’m excited to listen to everything I’ve saved! (After NaNo ends, I mean…)

            LISTEN TO NEWSIES!!! IT’S AMAZING! (Also there is a song that is soooo applicable to NaNoWriMo, at least at the start of the song. It’s called Watch What Happens, I think.)

            Yay! And yep! 😀


                1. Ah, I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet!!! SO YOU MUST TELL ME ALL THE THINGS!!! DO YOU LIKE IT??? IS IT GOOD??? ANY FAVORITE SINGS???

                  Sorry, I’m don’t know what OBC stands for???

                  Also do you mind if I follow you??

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. IT’S SO GOOD EEEEE
                    Basically, it’s about a few days in a Latino community in New York, told from the point of view of a guy named Usnavi. There’s a lot of Spanish in it, but also hints of Hamilton in the style and rhyming. (Lin-Manuel Miranda used a few of the same rhymes!)
                    Currently, my favorite songs are “Breathe” and Alabanza.”

                    Oh, sorry! OBC stands for “Original Broadway Cast.” I have no clue if people use it as an acronym when also talking about the original Broadway cast recordings, but I did because I was too lazy to type it all out. 😛

                    Not at all, I’d love that! 😀


                    1. NOW I’M DOUBLY EXCITED!!!

                      Yes! I got the feeling that it was very Latino/Spanish and just at a glance I saw that some songs were in Spanish (which outg to be fun!!! I’m learning Spanish and love trying to read Spanish books/signs and listen to Spanish TV/music!!!).

                      Ah, smart! I probably could’ve figured it out if I though long and hard, but I was too lazy as well. 🙂

                      What’s your username???

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Ooh, that does sound like it would be more fun to listen to, then!! I know very little Spanish, because I failed to actually learn any of what I was being taught at school when I was littler… I mean, other than basic words, like family members and “house.” Once you’ve listened to it, I’d love to know your favorite song(s) and whether you like it! (Which I think you will. Because Spanish. And Lin-Manuel Miranda. And MUSICALS.)

                      *facepalm* I’m sorry, I just realized that the account is connected to my personal email (not the one I use for my blog). That email address has my full name in it, so I probably shouldn’t share my account name with you. (No offense meant, but just general internet safety. I have a really unusual name.) Sorry, I should have realized that!


                    3. Gotcha! I’m nothing like fluent but I adore languages and learning them, so that helps! 🙂

                      ABSOLUTELY! I will keep you informed!

                      Totally understandable! Don’t worry about it! To tell you the truth, I did the exact same thing originally. Then I realized that I will want to mention my new true love (that would be Spotify) in posts… And I’m extremely careful about privacy as well, so I actually deleted that account and made a new one that I can share. Had to make all my playlists all over again, but I didn’t have very many at that point, so it’s all good. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I’m learning Latin, which is a ton of fun, and I’m nothing like fluent, either… (oh gosh, I just imagined someone translating Hamilton into Latin. YIKES. YIKES. -flees from the conjugations and endings and all of the confusion-)

                      Does Spanish require a ton of memorization? I took a small amount of German for a while, and it didn’t, but Latin definitely does.

                      Yay! I might do a post soon about musicals… hmm.

                      Ahah, thanks! That was a good thing to remember. 🙂



                      I actually tried teaching myself once??? BUT THE PROGRAM WAS ARCHAIC AND I DESPISED IT WITH THE FIRE OF A MILLION SUNS, SO. It depended entirely upon memorization. Ew.

                      I’m using Rosetta Stone WHICH IS AMAZING. Basically, you learn entirely through pictures?? Much the way a baby would begun to associate images with words. It works very well. I highly recommend it!

                      Ohmygoodness, you took German, too??? OH YOU ARE ALL THE LUCKY!!!

                      Cool! I cannot wait!


                    6. I took Rosetta Stone for Greek for a little while, and I really liked it! (I’m just realizing that it sounds like I know a lot of languages. I DON’T. NOT REMOTELY.) The pronunciation thing was a little annoying, because it kept glitching (or something?)

                      For German, though, I used Duolingo. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. It’s free!!! And online!! And the logo is a bird!


                    7. GREEK TOO????????

                      Hmmm. Right now the microphone headset doesn’t like me??? But other than that I’ve never had any trouble.

                      Bahaha! I laughed so hard about the bird thing! I’ll check it out. I promise.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. 😛 I only know a teeny teeny tiny amount of words, and I usually only use it to say “I love you,” to family (on my Greek side) but yep!

                      Aww, I hope the headset behaves eventually!



            *ahem* *looks around innocently* What? No, I’m not overexcited. Not at all.


  2. I loved this! Lucky you having your head still in seeing distance. I think mine is bobbing in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Who even knows. I can’t seem to find it…

    I love your idea of an inspiration binder. That’s very cool! And looks, well, inspiring!

    I’ve only read ONE. TINY. BOOK. this month. So I hear ya! I think I may be dying from book dehydration.

    I’m just…I’m sitting in awe here. You managed to HANDWRITE 50K WORDS IN 16 DAYS while STILL living perfectly normally???? YOU ARE A WIZARD. There is no other explanation.

    So I am not alone in needing lots of sleep! 10 hours is perfect for me, to be honest. I don’t always get that…if ever. But it’s the best. I can’t even function with 4 or 5 hours. Just…no. z_z

    I’m still plugging away at my monstrous novel, and reeeally ready to be done. Heh. 12 chapters left! I can finish this thing, I can! *holds up laptop and charges*

    Also I’ve… *shifty eyes* never seen/listened to Hamilton. *ducks and runs away*


    1. *tackles Christine* YOU MUST LISTEN TO HAMILTON THIS INSTANT!!!

      Ahem. Now that we got THAT out of the way…

      Bahaha! You are hilarious, Christine! But, seriously, would you like me to go fetch your head????



      Ah! So I am not alone!



  3. I wouldn’t say I’m Hamilton OBSESSED, but I have listened to most of the soundtrack… I’m definitely a musical theater person. My elementary school did a Matilda the Musical junior type thing in 5th grade, and I was Matilda, and since then I’ve been REALLY into Broadway! Also I just wanted to mention that your blog is like one of my favorites, and I always love your posts! Like I genuinely enjoy reading them and I’m not even participating in NaNoWriMo! ~Julia ❤


    1. Can I just say my heart MELTED just a little when I read this??? Seriously. This comment means so much to me!

      Oh, you lucky little bug! I have ALWAYS WANTED to be in a musical (a real play of ANY kind, really!)!!! And the LEAD???? *Kate collapses with jealousy*

      Again, thank you so much for that awesome comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That really is a chaotic month. It sounds awesome.

    Also, on number 7, that’s great. My brothers often play catch with a baseball (or was it a softball? I can’t remember), and sometimes I join in, but me playing catch is basically “oh no there’s a ball run the other direction”, hehe.


  5. Loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loveeeeedddddd…Zzzzzzzzz Sorry, haven’t slept that much….
    Can I say without seeming repetitive that every time you post I relate to your writing experience?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sleep rocks, guys. Seriously. Get a life.
    and I haven’t…. haven’t really….ever….in my life….listened….to Hamilton *avoids eyes and shuffles feet nervously*
    What was the topic again??!
    I’m thankful that I’m ALIVE. Like I’m actually ALIVE right now. how cool is that??!
    See ya later. And, um, forget I ever posted this… I just embarrassed myself…
    Which is why I should go sleep…


  6. Oh my word, this post!!!

    First of all, I LOVE YOUR INSPIRATION BINDER!! The Jack Sparrow note was absolutely hilarious!!! (and now I also know what an anti-hero is, so YAY!!!) See? Reading blog posts makes you learn.

    *pretends like it’s normal to be a writer and not know what an anti-hero is*

    And I also just realized that I have an anti-hero in my book. #what

    And I did participate in NaNo! (As you probably already know) AND I ACTUALLY WOOOOOOOOON!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! Excuse me while I go scream and rant in a blog post real quick.

    Also, I don’t even know what Hamilton is, so… *runs away as fast as I can because obviously I am going to be despised for eternity*


    1. I totally hear you! I didn’t know what an antihero was until recently, either! Most of the books i read had pretty concrete “good guys” and “bad guys.” Then i started hearing that teem floating around… And, well, at face value, the name seems explanatory… But it’s not. It’s hard to define. That’s why I added the Jack Sparrow bit. 😉 To me, he is the PERFECT example of an antihero!

      And, yes, I write TONS of antiheroes as well. I think my entire cast is made up of antiheroes, to be honest… I have sad, damaged dictators and sweet psychopaths and WHAT IS WITH THE ALLITERATION ALL OF A SUDDEN??? Aaaaaanyway, antiheroes are the best and most adorable and statically have the best hair so let us go forth and write them victoriously!

      Ohmygoodness, CONGRATULATIONS!!! EEEEEP!!!

      Ahhh… Go thou listen to Hamilton! (Seriously. Lots of writing references!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! Captain Jack is the best example of everything! Daring hero? Check. Sarcastic and witty? Check. The most amazing pirate anyone could ever ask for????? Double check.

        Haha! Yes!!! Sweet psychopaths are definitely the best!!! And they most definitely have the best hair!

        Thank you!! EEEEE!!! I’m so excited!!!!

        And okay!!! I shall go do that because WRITING!!!!


  7. Well your month WAS AWESOME. (And your blog posts are hilarious and wonderfully written by the way.😂) I actually don’t sacrifice much for doing NaNo either? Like I write 7+ hours a day, so I sacrifice being aROUND people, but I still eat the same meals and go for walks and sometimes nap if I need to. haha. My only difference I suppose is that I only ever get 5 hours of sleep a night. HOW DO YOU EVEN SLEEP FOR 8+ HOURS??? WHAT WIZARDRY IS THAT?? I can’t even stay asleep for longer than 2 hours at a time hah. AHEM. ANYWAY. I’m so proud of you for finishing NaNo! CONGRATS AND ALL THE CAKE FOR YOU!!! *eats a tortilla chip and salsa in your honour* And pfft, who needs school. Also congrats on the sporting! I mean, sport is hard. They throw balls and yet we must catch them and not run?? It’s so bizarre.😂
    I hope you have a wonderful December!!


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