Looking Back on NaNoWriMo

First of all, a big hello to all my new followers!


Ok, now onto the meat of the post. NaNoWriMo. I’m happy to say that, for the first time, I actually hit the 50,000 goal working only on the one WIP. In previous years, I’ve counted essays, blog posts, hell, even shopping lists, to try to meet my targets, so I was super pleased with my efforts this year.

I’m certain that the main reason for hitting my goal is that I actually took the time to plan this year. Sure, the plan only lasted me the first ten days and then I was back to my pantster ways but I think I got to around 23,000 in that time.

The second reason I hit my goal is that, where I live, November 1st is a public holiday so I had a full day, straight off the bat, to get those words down. Obviously, not everyone is able to do that but if I hadn’t, there is no way I would have finished this year.

The third reason is that, having tried NaNo a few times before, I could look back on my stats and see where I flagged. It seems to happen around day 10 without fail, and this year was no different but I planned for it, adjusting my word counts for those days so I wouldn’t be disheartened and put off if I didn’t make the 1,667.

NaNo is, more than anything else, a mind game. Yes, I’m please that I won but will I do it again? Maybe not. Looking back on November, all I remember is a stressful blur and a constant feeling of being one edge. What hit me most at the end of November was not euphoria but, to be honest, just relief and a sense of purposelessness. What to do with all the time I spent writing? Write more? (Hell, no. That’s not how my brain works! Thanks, brain)

Now, the time which, in November, I sacrificed on the altar of the NaNo gods is now being gambled away on Netflix binges and weekend sleep-ins. And I’m happy with that. I learnt a lot from NaNo this year, about myself and my writing, about what I’m able to do and the price of those undertakings.

What was your experience with NaNo like this year? Did you reach your goals?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Looking Back on NaNoWriMo

  1. cyncarverauthor says:

    This year I won too. I pantstered all the way to the end. Now that I am editing, I’m no longer at 50k but at 45k. Congratulations on finishing and learning from the experience.

  2. Dianna Gunn says:

    Congratulations on your success! I believe Nanowrimo is a great creative exercise and one of the best ways to test your limits/learn how much you can realistically produce as a writer, but there’s certainly no obligation to do it again–the point is to try it and figure out if it’s an approach that works for you.

  3. gretalyn says:

    Participating in NanoWriMo is an accomplishment in and of itself, congratulations! While it isn’t for everyone, writing on a deadline is a good exercise for me, especially in November when all of the holiday demands and shorter days *could be* an excuse not to write everyday.
    Learning from the experience is the most important part. What works for you, what doesn’t.
    It has changed my writing practice for the better each time I have participated.
    This year the blog hop has opened up a very rich resource of social media contacts that I might not have found any other way…

  4. K. L. Schwengel says:

    I lost. I rather expected to, given my schedule. I went into it only to distract my mind from several things I’m waiting on. It worked in that regard. I also wrote more words than I would have without it. Are they words I’ll keep? Not sure. I haven’t had a chance to revisit that story yet. I’m hoping I haven’t grown to hate it. Will I do NaNo again? Likely not. But then, it’s not November 2017 yet. 😉

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