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  • Holly Brunnbauer

The Wrap-Up: November 2023

Hey, lovely!

The end of year is in sight and I'm going out with a BANG.

I set myself a big goal for November—write 50,000 words in a month.

Did I achieve it? Hell yeah. In fact, I went a little over.

Keep reading to find out how.

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The Wrap-Up: November | Holly - Stay-at-home writer



National Novel Writing Month

The aim of the game is to write 50k words in 30 days.

My grand total = 55,103 words.

As they say, I "won NaNo".

This is my first go participating in a writing challenge. Every other year I've wanted to, but knew I wouldn't make it.

What's different now?

I wasn't trying to fit writing into an already busy schedule. I'd already made time and had a solid writing routine in place.

Every morning (weekdays only), I write from 4 a.m - 7 a.m. Haven't missed a day all year.

That might sound like torture to some, but I friggen LOVE it. Hello, morning person here.

Nothing fills my cup more than starting the day doing something for myself. Because the rest of my day is all about others (kids, clients, husband, pug etc. —not in that order. Mr Giuseppe comes first, obviously). There's no guarantee I'll get a chance to write during the day and that hurts my soul. Also, when I try to tackle it at night, I've got nothing left to give. My mind is mush. So, I decided to write first thing and so far it's working for me.

I knew that as long as I didn't get sick or have a personal life catastrophe, I had a good shot of completing NaNo. And I did. See proof below.

NaNoWriMo Completition Certificate

What's next?

I'm powering through to finish the first draft by the end of this year. Stay tuned for updates.


The Word Count Podcast

PODCAST: The Word Count

HOSTS: Jo Dixon, Fiona Taylor, and Jacq Ellem

Looking for an accountability partner? How about three?

The Word Count is a podcast that follows three Aussies as they write their way towards publication.

It has the BEST intro, which changes with each episode. It accurately reflects the playful convos ahead.

The hosts are a mix of published and aspiring writers. I gather they're friends in real life because the on-air chemistry is electric. It sounds like they have a lot of fun and so do I as I tune in each fortnight.

Each episode is short & sweet with an emphasis on setting writing goals and checking in. Sometimes they hit those targets (woo hoo!) and sometimes they procrasti-bake (I'm looking at you, Jacq). But they always make me laugh. Thanks, ladies.

Follow the @thewordcountpod on Insta and tune in to The Word Count ASAP.


When Things Happen Together - Jordan Clayden-Lewis


Fan of audiobooks? Uh-uh, not me. No can do, my friend. I feel like I’m being read to by a kindergarten teacher.

My ONLY exception? ‘The Woman in Me’ by Britney Spears. I binged it in 2 days.

Probably helps it’s narrated by Michelle Williams—she should win an award for that performance. Agree?

I listened with a golf-ball-sized lump in my throat the entire time. Heartbreaking is the best way to describe this memoir.

I was sad to learn what Brit went through at the hands of the media, music industry, and especially her own family. They claim she wasn’t fit to run her own life, but they continued to make her work to finance theirs. Britney was a cash cow and they milked her for every drop.

To be honest, I wish the memoir went a little deeper. Maybe it did and some big shots had things cut. Who knows? Either way, if you’re a Britney fan (or grew up in the '90s) you’ll find this memoir interesting.

Want to weigh in on the book? Drop your comments on this Instagram post - Book review: The Woman in Me (Britney Spears).


Stay-at-home writer, Holly Brunnbauer, out and about in October

I don't know who needs to hear this, but putting up your Christmas tree in November is perfectly acceptable. We did it at the start of the month and the novelty hasn't worn off. Twinkling lights make me deliriously happy. Not my husband (bah humbug!), but the kids love it, so majority rules.

This month was a biggie for our family. My eldest turned nine and my youngest started school orientation. Next year, I'm leaving the kinder phase and stepping up to full-time primary school mum. Couldn't be happier.

Now that my kiddies are a little older, that means hubby can take them away on spontaneous boys-only camping trips. Don't get me wrong, I love camping. But, I also enjoy having the house to myself and eating a tub of chocolate custard in lieu of dinner. Both can be true. So when the boys were away, I slapped on a face mask and watched rom-coms all day long. 'Twas glorious.


Next month, I'll be sharing my 2024 writing goals. Meet you back here in December, okay?


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