What I Learned During This Year’s NaNoWriMo

What I Learned During This Year's NaNoWriMo

I know that NaNoWriMo is still far from over, but since I am going to hopefully validate my 50,000 tonight, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned since last year about this hectic wonderful event. My goal had been to validate by the 20th, but alas, I had to play a concert last night, and wasn’t ready enough to validate beforehand. But what are goals if you can’t make them flex for you sometimes? And for all my Nano friends, I will be sticking around through the 30th, as I am shooting for 75,000 so that I can actually finish the book!

Here’s what I’ve learned this time through:

-Pick your best writing time and try to work with it (mine is first thing in the morning). I’ve woken without fail at 6am ever since NaNoWriMo started to get writing in before the day’s rush, and it has been a lifesaver for both me and my family.

-Consistency is the ticket, but don’t stress out if you get a little behind.

-Do not sacrifice other people/duties/higher priorities for it. We celebrated my brother’s birthday one weekend, and ever since then I’ve been trying to get back on track. And that is just fine.

-Only think about what needs to be done today. Don’t go worrying about the thousands of words you have left—just focus, and worry about tomorrow when it arrives, not before.

-If your inspiration is flowing, don’t stop, even if you’ve made your goal. On hectic days you’ll be thankful for the extra word count.

-Don’t lose sight of the big picture. Some writing is better than none, and hey, 50,000 words is very impressive.

-Don’t compare your word count to other people’s. There is always going to be someone who can write faster or has more time than you, and you cannot let early finishers get you down. (For an example, check out the amazing Cait’s feat). Instead, let them inspire you and give you something to aim for in the future.

-Cocoa is supposed to boost your brain’s intelligence levels, and coffee boosts your comprehension and creative choice of words. Oh yeah!

– Choose a story you love for NaNoWriMo. You are always going to have moments when it’s drudgery, but if your heart’s in it, you’ll bound out of the low times so much faster.

-Know what works for you, and don’t be afraid to break a couple rules. (I do minor self-editing, since I know I am going to forget otherwise!)

-Encourage others who are participating.

-And have fun! It’s a lot harder when you’re not enjoying yourself.


Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? What are some things you have learned through doing it?

6 thoughts on “What I Learned During This Year’s NaNoWriMo

  1. Ahhh, these are aWESOME tips!! 😀 And I totally agree with not comparing yourself…omg I know someone who finished NaNo in THREE DAYS. And someone else who’s currently written 200,000 words already. Yup. Not a typo. Some writers are insanely crazy. xD Yet it’s good because it gives one something to strive for right?! Just as long as we work at our own pace and in a way that makes us happy <– I think that's really important. 😛

    But honestly now…we should MIX cocoa and coffee together and just have exceptionally great writing?!?! XD

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Why, thank you! *blushes*

    I can hardly believe that people can pull of 50k in three days or write 200,000 in so short a time. It’s insane! :O But it does give us something to shoot for and it is far better for a person to stick to something they know they can do rather than make themselves miserable. 🙂

    Oh. yes. Let us mix our coffee with our cocoa and astound the world with the amazingness of our books! XD



  3. Thank you so much for these. It’s good to be reminded of the big picture, and not let the goals take over your life, and also to have some tips for staying in the game. It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but I really am enjoying my first NaNoWriMo!


    1. It has been so much fun working on NaNoWriMo with you! It is very important, I agree, to keep the big picture, and yet to keep your head in the game too. It’s not always an easy balance to find! So glad that you enjoyed it so much!



  4. I hope to do NaNoWriMo for the first time next year. I’m soaking up all these tips and suggestions so that I can be prepared. Congrats, Emily! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    1. Thanks Lucy! Your encouragement and support has been so helpful this year. I would love it if you could do it next year…we would have to have some kind of write-in together. 🙂



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