What To Do When Your NaNoWriMo Isn’t a Success

The goal of  National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words in a month. If you’re like me, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen this year. I know I’m not the only one feeling post-NaNo blues.

So what happened?

Maybe you worked hard, but just couldn’t reach it in time. Maybe uncontrollable factors got in the way. Maybe you started off great but couldn’t keep up the pace. Maybe you didn’t try.

Guess what?

That’s okay.

Sure it doesn’t feel okay…and thanks to NaNo’s little graphs it probably doesn’t look okay either. Mine looks like I took a snooze halfway up Everest and froze to death.

NaNo 18
NaNoWriMo 2018

Guess what? It’s okay.

Writing isn’t contained to one month of the year. It’s constant.

So you fluffed November. Or July, if you’re participating in CampNaNoWriMo. No biggie. Another month has begun, and the words written this month matter just as much. It takes as long as it takes.

We’re writers. We persevere.

What You Should Do Now:

  • Take a break.

You might be a little down and frustrated, and it won’t help to stew in your negative emotions, so take a step back. Maybe go for a run, or see those friends you’ve been ignoring for the sake of your WIP.

  • Look at the positives.

What’s your word count? Is it more than it was before November, even if it’s just a single word? That’s progress.

I wrote 27,000 words this month. That’s more than double my average, which is 11,000. It’s not 50,000, not even close. But its progress.

  • Figure out what went wrong.

Now you’ve relaxed a bit, its time to throw self-pity aside and figure out what stopped you from finishing your goal.

With me, I got hung up on the details of my story. There was so much to write and none of it was going how I wanted to, so I lost motivation and eventually just wrote a sentence a day just so I could earn that badge for updating everyday.

  • Plan for next time.

Now you know the problem, you know exactly what to be wary of next time. Come up with a plan of action, whatever you think you need to meet the goal next NaNoWriMo.

  • Write.

Maybe you wrote more than me, maybe you wrote less. Even if you wrote nothing, just remember that in the grand scheme of things NaNoWriMo doesn’t matter. A new month has begun. Get writing.

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