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What I Learned While Doing Nanowrimo 2019

Another Nanowrimo is almost behind us. For those of you who may not know what Nanowrimo is, its National Novel Writing Month. A month where writers from all over come together to write 50,000 words. It's an amazing and encouraging and inspiring environment to be in all month. Everyone is so supportive of one another. We all want one another to succeed at winning nanowrimo.

This year was by far the hardest nanowrimo I've ever had. All the other ones I had a clear plan, I was starting either a new project or a project I've been excited about for a while. Last Nanowrimo I wrote Second Star to the Right. The last two before that I wrote different versions of Project Hellion and for my first one, I wrote Weapon Icean. All of those were oddly easy. They went fairly smoothly. I never worried I wouldn't get to 50,000 words. This November... was very different. I think it was a rude awakening for me. I realized how hard Nanowrimo could be. I mean all the others weren't super easy, but they also weren't a struggle like they can be for others. It's just that this November turned out to be a very busy one. If I didn't have nanowrimo... I wouldn't have written very much. My writing would have gone to the wayside. My anxiety and depression wasn't great at the beginning of the month... my classwork had really amped up at the beginning of the month too. There were so many papers and discussion boards and I have this giant paper to think about still that's due in December. It was all just a lot and all piled on top of me. Combine that with all expectations for myself and the stress was real!

Just being honest, the only reason I didn't give up was because I refused to lose at Nanowrimo. I don't think I'm competing with other writers, but I am definitely competing with myself if that makes sense. I have to win. Last year, I kid you not, I made Second Star to the Right the longest I could make it just so I could "beat" my word count from the year before. So the thought of quitting nanowrimo this year felt like a huge defeat, like I was letting myself down and "losing" to myself. I wish I could write that I came to the conclusion that winning nanowrimo isn't everything. That I learned that it's OK to not succeed at my goals and that I've broken the habit of competing with myself and pressuring myself to write through the month of November. I wish I could give you some super insightful lesson that was learned. Buuut... I didn't. I didn't learn that lesson. I pushed myself and I let my competitiveness get me through this month out of sheer force of will and refusing to let myself down even if my goals and expectations were kind of ridiculous.

I did learn one lesson though. I learned that I can't spread myself too thin and expect myself to do all the things in one month. It's called prioritizing and focusing on one thing at a time. Once I gave up this crazy idea that I was going to revise and edit Cursed by the end of December, my writing for St. Croix Falls 3 fell into place and came together. So I guess that's one thing. And really, I didn't stress if I missed a day. I accepted that I may not get my word count in every day and that I will have to focus on my school first and writing second and... I was OK with that. Like I was at peace with the fact that I missed a day or two and I knew that I could make it up later. Near the middle of nanowrimo things got a little tough but I think that happens to a lot of us as we reach the 30,000 mark. A writer friend I follow on Instagram said that hitting 30K was like hitting the middle and she just has to push through. And I did just that and it worked.

Long story short: Nanowrimo was hard this month but it all worked out at the end. Now excuse me while I go collapse and prepare myself for Cursed in December.

How did your Nanowrimo (or writing in general) go this month?? 


  1. I'm sorry to hear that it was hard this year around! Your gifs sum up the feeling perfectly. XD I am really determined, too, and this is my first year that I've made it past 10k, and I'm getting close to 50k! I'm so glad that you pushed through, and it is essential to take breaks!

    1. Wow! Congrats!! I hope you make it by the end of the month!! :D

  2. Nano can really zap your energy away. Glad you pushed through it.

  3. Pushing through when you don't feel like it takes strength. Good work!



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