Your NaNoWriMO Progress

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but several of my writing friends are, and I have been following their progress on Facebook and Twitter. I have some very hardworking, writing friends who HAVE ALREADY HIT THE 50,000 word mark. They have won NaNoWriMo, and they are celebrating with cute icons and banners on their social media pages and their blogs. I am proud of them. It is amazing to write 50,000 words in 30 days or less. 

But I also know this is the time of year when several of you who started NaNoWriMo with a bang are now feeling a bit down about yourselves and your writing. You might be at 25,000 words or even 10,000; and if you are celebrating Thanksgiving, well there go your writing days.

I say--don't be discouraged. So, you didn't finish 50,000 words--guess what? I bet that you are 10,000 words more into a novel than you would have been if it wasn't for NaNoWriMo. Am I right? So you write slow. Or maybe something happened in your family you weren't expecting. Or maybe you got the flu--but that's okay, and life happens. I'm here to tell you that you should be proud of your 10,000 or 17,000 or 45,000 words you wrote on a new novel in November. A lot of people, like me this year, didn't write any.

So here's what I want you to think about. Just humor me for a minute. When it's November 30, I want you to write on your blog or Facebook or Twitter account: your total word count, and if you didn't hit the 50,000 word mark, I don't want you to apologize. I don't want you to feel embarrassed. I want you to say: "Hey, world, I just wrote 20,000 words in November. I'm working on a YA novel. And my goal is to continue to work on it each day until it gets finished."
Because really, this is what NaNoWriMo is all about. It's not about 50,000 words really--most of us realize that is not a complete adult-length novel. It's about getting in a habit of writing every day. It's about being familiar with your story on a daily basis so part of your writing time is not spent familiarizing yourself with your novel each time you sit down. It's about creating a new work. It's about writing past writer's block. 

Celebrate with those writers who made the 50,000-word goal but be proud of yourself for whatever you accomplished because you are that much closer to a published novel on December 1.

Margo L. Dill is an editor, writing coach, and WOW! instructor. Find out more at 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Blogger is conspiring against me. I wrote a comment, and then got it deleted. Perhaps I am conspiring against myself?

Your points are all spot-on. I did NaNo several years. One year, I stopped mid-month, knowing I couldn't play catch up. One year, i crashed and burned within the first week. One year, I got 50,000 words down, but they were a pile of stinky words. One year, I called myself a "NaNoWriMo Rebel" because I took those 50,000 words and threw most of them away so I could start from scratch.

Celebrate. If you put some words down this month, celebrate. If you got an outline written for a short story/novel/memoir, celebrate. If you dusted off an old manuscript so you can revise it, celebrate with some chocolate or some wine or both.

Celebrate. And then get back to writing.

Margo Dill said...

Sioux: I love the way you celebrate. :)

I have tried NaNoWriMo twice on the same novel (which I know is illegal. LOL) I have about half-written, which is more than I had when it was just an idea in my head.

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