NaNoWriMo Results

Because November is almost over, I thought I would do a little follow-up post on NaNoWriMo. I didn't participate this year, but I’ve asked around to see how the experience went for people, how they progressed, what they learned, and what kind of advice they would give to others who would like to attempt it for next year.

Most people I spoke with did not make it to fifty thousand words nor did they finish their books. However, they did make far more progress on their novels than they normally would have in a month. Most people set a daily goal and attempted to stick to it, though it was tough at times and they often fell short. The most important thing was that they were making regular progress, even if they didn’t always hit their daily word counts.

Although no one had a manuscript that was in querying shape (that would be quite incredible if it was), most people ended up with a solid foundation for their story or a great draft to start with. It’s a lot easier to work with a lump of clay than to fabricate that lump of clay from nothing at all. Yeah, I’m not the best at metaphors.

Some people outlined while others pantsed it. The ones who pantsed it have more revisions to do in the future even if they got down more words. I guess it’s a matter of doing more work up front or on the back end.

I think NaNoWriMo really teaches people that it’s possible to write an entire book, especially if you have other supportive writers around you going through the same thing. If you would like to attempt NaNoWriMo next year, you may want to find a group to join. It helps to have the support, encouragement, and accountability when you’re struggling to make it through. And you know, it's always nice to be around people who can empathize with your writing woes. 

Really, all of these things apply to writing the other eleven months of the year: set goals, get your words down, outline (if that works for you), and definitely try to find a good writing group. Good luck!


  1. Thanks for sharing the results of your informal survey. Although I've never done NaNoWriMo, I know that when I set ambitious goals for myself, I ALWAYS fall short of achieving them, but ALWAYS achieve more than if I hadn't set them.


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