NaNo What Now?

Finding your editing process, revising your NaNoWriMo book and building a writing career through publishing and beyond

Building a Writing Life

start a writing habit, find time to write, discover your process and commit to your writing dreams Non-Fiction

Time is absolutely rocketing by and it is unacceptable. Baby is getting all big and stuff which is very rude when I want her to stay tiny and snuggly forever. But she said, “Mama” a week ago so I forgive her. The other one said just about every word in the dictionary before Mama so at least this one knows where her bread is buttered.

Mama is feeling very wistful these days, when I’m not absolutely terrified AF for the future for me and my girls. It all has a mental toll. The world around us just keeps getting increasingly terrifying and dark while my tiny world is warmth and light. It feels unfair on both ends and I’m at once feeling guilty for having these perfect moments while doom swirls around us and furious that these jerks have tainted this time and robbed us of any certainty for the future. Hope the best but plan for the worst, as they say. It’s really all you can do!

But you’re not here for my existential angst, you’re here for my writing angst so let’s get down to that.

Here’s what June 2017 looked like in writing…

Total Words Written This Month
40,937 words

Average Words Per Day
1,365 words

Monthly Goal
34,255 <-that’s how much I wrote in February (when baby was born) so my only goal was to write more than that

Yearly Goal
338,443 / 500,000 (68%)

Things completed:

Other Works Actively in Progress this Month:

  • New shiny commedia parody
  • non-fiction project about being a new parent and writer
  • my adaptation of Pintosmauto


At the end of last month, I mentioned that final edits for a play would be coming in any minute now and that I would have to drop everything and do them. They actually ended up arriving the day I wrote that sentence so there was a flurry at the top of June to get that finished. The play was The (Completely Inaccurate) Legend of the Mummy Witch House which is now published so go over and check it out.

I rewrote that play in a week after moving and before giving birth, so I was absolutely terrified to see it again because I had no idea how bad it would be. Luckily, it was fine though there was one scene that needed some tuning. You know how in Iron Chef the chefs are still desperately throwing garnish on their meals to make them look nice as the host is calling “Time’s Up!”? That was totally me changing up sentences and sprucing up bits of the play right up until the final deadline. Pitching parsley on that plate from across the room, NBD. But it’s out in the world now and already published and in print and it’s something I’d be proud of no matter what speed I wrote it in.

I’m also still trying to get some work in on Pintosmauto and 4th Orange here and there to finish that project but, alas, this was the hardest month to get writing time so far. Preschooler was, as usual, resisting a rest and, when she would nap, the baby wouldn’t. Nobody’s fault, just everyone getting older and needing less sleep, but it’s kind of a problem when I need their naptimes to write. And, without that nap break mid day, I was so tired at night I couldn’t get much done even when I did get them into bed early enough to have time. It’s been less than ideal.

That said, I did managed a bunch of writing in the new parent writer book which is about halfway done. Non-fiction has always been easier for me for some reason so I can always make forward progress on that, no matter how sludge-like my brain is. Not setting a release date for it or anything yet, just working on it here and there when it’s all I have the concentration for. It’ll get done when it gets done.

In the meantime, I outlined a new project I’m super excited about. It’s a parody…? of commedia dell’arte…? kind of…? You’ll just have to see it. I’ll have more to share with you about it later but it’s really random and such a perfect blend of obscure things only I am into that I may have been put on this earth specifically to write it. I also may be the only target demographic for it but I think I’m OK with that because it should be a ton of fun to write no matter what happens with it later.

I did some research for that play, some character sketches, an outline and wanted to write it right that minute even though I do *not* need another work in progress in my life right now, but received a sign from beyond that brought me to my senses. Namely, I was reading some of Carlo Gozzi’s other plays to possibly use parts of in this and came across The Blue Monster. I’d never read it before and was full of fire to use it… until I realized it’s just Gozzi’s adaptation of a Tale of Tales fairy tale.

Literally the fairy tale I had just adapted in 4th Orange.

I mean, the exact fairy tale that is now the story of the fourth orange.

So the fact that I chased that plot bunny all the way back around to where I started seemed like a sign from the universe that I was meant to go back to that project. And so I did. But I’ll be back!

Up Next

Last July was one of the craziest months of my life in general but in writing specifically so I plan to take it a little easier this year. I have only set a target for 30,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and my only goal is to try to finish the first draft of the new parent writer book and even that’s going to be a stretch if this month plays out like this one did in terms of no writing time. That said, it would be a REALLY good thing if I could get 4th Orange done before mid August so that’s in the back of my mind at all times. I want so badly to finish that play, it’s just really hard to try to edit and revise something as involved as that project when you only have distracted stolen moments here and there. But that’s not going to stop me from trying!

Beyond that, I have so many things I want/need to finish, I’m not even going to bother thinking about them. Thinking too far ahead is what gets me overwhelmed and upset when I can’t find time to write so I’m just going to focus on steady incremental progress day by day, one project at a time and make the whole journey that way!



  1. July 2017: The Second Wind - Hillary DePiano - […] chance for an opportunity and letting it go and needing to be OK with getting less done right now. This…

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About the Author

Hillary DePiano is a playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer who loves writing of all kinds except for writing bios like this.

Books and Plays by Hillary DePiano


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