Humility and Empathy: Some Notes on NaNoWriMo – Guest post by Ren M. Brocke

Humility and Empathy: Some Notes on NaNoWriMo – Guest post by Ren M. Brocke

Today I have the honor of hosting guest blogger and writer, Ren M. Brocke. In this guest post Ren addresses the writing challenge many of us are in the midst of this November; NaNoWriMo.

If you are interested in guest blogging on any topics related to publishing, writing, goals, and inspiration, (or just something fun!) email me at

Humility and Empathy: Some Notes on NaNoWriMo

By: Ren M. Brocke

555 words in the morning. 556 words during lunch. 557 words before bed. It seems simple enough. I tend to write in 300-500 words spurts, which only takes about an hour to accomplish. That’s three hours out of every day and they don’t have to be done successively. If I can split them up into three sections of 500 blocks, that is much more manageable to me than thinking about 1,667 words per day.

NaNoWriMo always comes down to logistics. How many words can you write within a certain timeframe and how can you use that to your advantage? But, for me, the problem with NaNoWriMo doesn’t come in the calculations, the blocking of time—it comes in the getting it done, the sitting down and just doing it, because I have always had issues with self-esteem and it is my natural belief that no matter what I do, no matter how I approach something, I will always fail.

I have written character descriptions, but I have not flexed my muscles. I haven’t been getting up early the last month or so to prepare myself for this month-long stretch; I haven’t been writing 1,667 words per day; I haven’t even touched my character descriptions in a month, though I know everything I want to happen and the reasons behind them.

It seems like such a good plan to have NaNoWriMo in November. Write your book, take December off for the holidays, start afresh in January when everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions. It makes perfect sense. And the idea of it is so captivating, the community so embracing, that I want with everything I have in me to do this. I want those late nights at the coffee shop with other writers, encouraging each other along the way; I want the sweat of hard work;

I want the satisfaction of looking at all those documents on November 30th and being able to say, “That’s right; I did that.”

I think that, more than anything, the month of November for WriMos is about, not only discipline and drive, but empathy and humility. Every day for an entire month, no matter what, we have to sit down and strip ourselves of the baggage, the exhaustion, the little issues and the big issues, and write our story, give ourselves to our characters despite everything happening in the background. It’s hard, but it’s also rewarding, and there’s something feverish in the act of writing every single day. It gives us that inclination to do it more often, to where we can’t imagine not writing because we miss the thrill and the creatively stunting masochism of it.

Ren M Brocke I know I do.


After majoring in English, Ren continues to write for her blog. A loving fan of the Harry Potter series, she even owns the entire set of Dumbledore’s Army of wands. A daydreamer and a night owl, Ren is also an avid reader and maintains an affinity for coffee and British accents. You can find her at her Tumblr.

About Katie McCoach

KATIE McCOACH is a developmental book editor at KM Editorial, LLC working with authors to help them create their best story! Be sure to follow her on Twitter @KatieMcCoach.

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