NaNoWriMo 2017 | Diary

Every day is NaNoWriMo for me. I don’t stop writing because the event is over or not yet there. But as the National Novel Writing Month has started, I wanted to take you with me on my writing journey πŸ™‚

Week 1

Wednesday – 1st November 2017

My day started as usual: I woke up at 6.30 AM and did a bit of editing on my novel before leaving for work. I am currently working on the first part of it, which represents the eight first chapters.

To the readers who know me, you certainly remember that my husband (now I can say it!) is a musician. Music and writing are two different forms of art, but one is more immediate. Writing doesn’t have to be lonely, and even if I am revising my novel, rewrite some bits and work again to fix things, I want to know whether the work I’m doing is worth it or not. So I’m editing the first part for my husband to have a look, as my beta reader πŸ™‚

However, I wasn’t feeling well during the day – nothing to worry about but I spent the afternoon at the hospital. I even slept 12 hours straight. I think my body needed it after all the stress it endured the last couple of months (job hunting, wedding preparations and moving house). Now that everything is settled, I think I’m opened to any virus coming along… As I’m going to France for a trip next week, I hope it won’t last too long.

Thursday – 2nd November 2017

I registered with a GP in the morning. At the reception, the ladies were making faces when I handed in my documents. You know when you’ve been in the UK for three years but haven’t registered with any GP yet? Yup, that face.

In term of writing, I didn’t do anything. I felt like 50% recovered from the day before. The only thing I did was to write my usual 1st Friday of the month’s newsletter (if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do πŸ˜‰ ).

Friday – 3rd November 2017

I had an afternoon off at work, which I spent at Yumchaa with a friend I haven’t seen for a long time. Around the corner in the very same room, there was Game of Thrones’ actors John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Hannah Murray (Gillie) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry). That’s the first time ever that I meet celebrities outside of conferences and signatures. No pictures however, they are people just like us, enjoying their time with their friends. I’m sure they’re used to fans asking for selfies with them, but I don’t get the point. They have the right to privacy just like common people.

I’m wondering how it is for famous authors. Are they asked for selfies in the street? Or is it only asked of actors because their faces are everywhere?

Saturday – 4th November 2017

My husband gone for the afternoon, I spent the day writing and editing. Writing this blog post (haha) and continuing the editing phase on the first part of my WIP. I worked on chapters 2 and 3, which are almost ready for beta reading.

So here is the week’s summary: I haven’t been writing lately, it’s more like a copyedit phase. But next week, as I am away in France, I’ll have time to work on the second part of my book.

Week 2

Sunday – 5th November 2017

Preparing my suitcase for my French travel, I took my writing laptop and some print pages I was editing. I would like to work a bit on my novel while travelling, especially since I know I’m gonna be on the move quite often. I am excited to visit some new places and cities, such as Lyon or Bordeaux. I hope I’ll take some good pictures to share with you, and to meet some of you too (even if I’m not on tour, hahaha). I think this week is going to be more of a travel journal than a NaNo one, but hey, I promised to keep you updated on what I was up to πŸ™‚

Monday – 6th November 2017

I worked a little while on the Eurostar train to Paris, editing one chapter. Love reminded me my promise to send him the first part of the novel this week, which I’ll try to honour *fingers crossed*.

I got lost in the Parisian tube. Actually I couldn’t quite leave the Gare de Lyon’s tube station, the signals are so weird. One sign would point downstairs but it was the RER platform, obviously not the exit, hahaha. I think it took me like 15 minutes to finally find the exit. And I’m not the only one! I heard a couple having the same questions (the girl who’s trying to make excuses for her bad location skills).

Tuesday – 7th November 2017

I’ve quite a lot to tell you. So I took the train to Marseille and had the loveliest encounter with an old man. I was going from the main train station to the old port, using my phone as a GPS (who doesn’t do that in 2017). The guy accosted me, saying that I should visit a museum whose name I can’t remember. He’d come back to me, warning me it’s closed on Tuesdays. Then made me a little tour of Marseille while talking about the city. My opinion on Marseille is pretty much influenced by this amazing encounter. I feel like the city is welcoming, very warm at heart.

Marseille's old port

Then I took another train, to Nice. This train got stopped by a group of goats on the tracks, hahaha. The train inspector was so funny while he was announcing it on speakers. I had a lot of fun with the passengers.

But Nice… I don’t know. I don’t really like this city, especially next to the main station at night. I find it a bit creepy.

Anyway, I haven’t worked at all today, and I kind of regret it. Tomorrow I’ll get a five-hours train back to Paris, I’ll try to get some work done. Hopefully I’ll finish the copyedits and make a nice little ebook for my harshest beta reader πŸ™‚

Wednesday – 8th November 2017

This Wednesday has been quieter than the day before. I took the longest train of my French trip: Nice to Paris, more than five hours on the train. I worked a bit on the novel, the copyedits are now done for chapters 1 to 8. I cut a lot of words, more or less 300 (ok that’s not much). I am now writing what’s missing on chapter 8 and then I’ll be able to send it to my husband for beta reading.


As I was in Paris for the rest of the evening, I’ve been to Notre-Dame Cathedral and walked my way back to the hotel via Place de la Bastille, where there used to be a prison during the French Revolution. I’ve been disappointed, as I excepted it to be more than a huge roundabout. Anyway, I decided to rest before my next train travel. I’m going to Lyon tomorrow and I want to be ready. Sounds like a very nice city πŸ™‚

Thursday – 9th November 2017

The longest time I spent in a city since the beginning of my French trip. So, I’ve been to Lyon and I got lost while looking for the funicular. I finally found it, but going through the streets with a suitcase isn’t what I would recommend (so glad this isn’t a big one). At least, the view from Notre-Dame de FourviΓ¨re was worth it.

Lyon's panorama

I’ve been looking for Alison Germain’s French novel “Le Souffle de Midas in every bookstore but couldn’t find it. Seems like Les Editions du Chat Noir are only available on demand. ANYWAY that’s not what you want to hear. You’d like to know if I’ve been writing today, and the answer is no. *shame* However, after spending such a tiring day, I decided I would be cool tomorrow.

Friday – 10th November 2017

I tried to take care of myself as much as possible. I caught a cold since… well, the beginning of the week, which got worse. So I stayed inside as much as I could.

Today I was in Nantes, then back to Paris. In Nantes, I visited the Jardin des Plantes which was just in front of the station. I wish I had a better weather than this grey sky, but at least it wasn’t raining. In Paris, I stayed in the Montparnasse area. It’s a bit more lively than the Bastille area, with a lot more restaurants and shopping for all I saw.

The more I see big cities, the more I realise how lucky I was when I lived in Belgium. Maybe it’s because I’m from the countryside that I’m thinking of how better are small cities and villages, green landscapes and rivers. Or maybe it’s because the weather is all grey, because I’m sick with a cold and I’m travelling alone (which isn’t fun). Let’s hope tomorrow will bring a little joy: I’m going to meet up with a friend who’s also doing NaNoWriMo while doing other crazy things. And maybe I’ll change my mind on big cities when I visit Bordeaux.

Saturday – 11th November 2017

What a pleasure to spend a couple of hours with a friendly face! I hadn’t seen one since Monday, and I had started to feel homesick. Travelling alone has certainly its advantages, but you are on your own. Even Love admitted he misses me. I’ll be happy to be home in two days.

In Bordeaux, I went to see Le Pont de Pierre and Saint-AndrΓ© cathedral. It was all very medieval and had a certain charm. I would have loved to spend more time there, because I feel it is exactly the same kind of city as my home town. I didn’t really like the colour of the Garonne river though (even if I do have a thing for pictures with bridges, hahaha).

This week, I finished the copyedits on chapters 1 to 8 and I started writing the missing bits on chapter 8. This isn’t what I had expected from my time spent in train travels but I had to do other things. I’m happy though, because at least I did a part of what I wanted to achieve this week.

Two more days and I’ll be home. I can’t wait πŸ™‚

Week 3

Sunday – 12th November 2017

I’ve met a couple during my time in Montpellier. I think I have a “Hey, come and talk to me, I’m nice.” kind of face, what do you think? Anyway, I’ve worked a bit on my writing on the train (my actual job, not my novel). Having to write content for a job is so cool. I recommend it to any writer πŸ™‚ I feel like my passion has turned into something magical that I can do every day, and I’m paid for it.

Monday – 13th November 2017

Oh my god, guys, what a day! I came back home! *fiesta time* I can’t believe that I’ve been away for like eight days in a row. I missed Love so much (he didn’t go to the gym after work today because I was going home, so sweet).

By the way, we received the pictures from our wedding photographer. They are sooo beautiful! Emilie was the perfect match for us, so creative, so talented. She photographed the best moments of our big day and got the emotions at the right time. I highly recommend working with her.

Photo Credit: Emilie Marchandise

Tuesday – 14th November 2017

I went back to the office, and I loved being back in the office. It should be weird, shouldn’t it? If you know me, you certainly remember the time when I wasn’t happy at my job (I even did a burnout). Well, this one is the complete opposite. I’m truly part of an amazing team, I get to do what I love, I’m involved in awesome projects. I wish everybody to feel the same way about your job.

I haven’t written much on my creative project though. The French trip was tiring with all those trains, even though I slept a lot. I tend to fall asleep as soon as the transport moves. It can be a car, a bus, a train, a plane, I don’t care. It’s as if I was entering a sleeping mode. Are you the same? Do you sleep when taking public transports?

Wednesday – 15th November 2017

I did it, I worked on my novel *victory*! I got up at 6.30 am just like I used to before the French trip. I sat at my desk, hopeful that I would write down a couple of words to finish my 8th chapter. You know, the one I was supposed to finish sooner to send to my beta reader? Well, I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a work in progress. I wrote 177 words in ten minutes (yes, because I couldn’t help doing a little administration before actually starting to write… I should publish a blog post about the excuses I give not to write my actual novel >.< )

Thursday – 16th November 2017 & Friday – 17th November 2017

Oh god… I was so tired the last couple of days! I can’t believe I still walk. Nothing interesting happened, except job-related stuff but it’s not the subject of this post, is it?

Saturday – 18th November 2017

I got up at 10 am. I repeat: I got up at 10 am. It was so cool to finally rest a little. I feel I needed the sleep so badly, just like during week 1 when my body said “Hey, you, hold on a sec’ please, you’re too fast for me.

I watched Jenna Moreci’s class on Skillshare. She’s very good at building an author platform and turning her visitors into fans. To be honest, I am subscribed to her Youtube channel and I follow her on Twitter. It’s because she talked about her class that I checked it out. Anyway, check that out if you’re interested. And if you want more on the subject, you can tell me and I’ll write a little blog post about it.

Now, if you please, I hear Love yelling “Finish your book!” from Porto, where he’s spending his weekend (lucky him!).

How was NaNo 2017? How many words have you written?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle or to leave a comment down below

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