No NaNo? No Problem.

Updated Nov. 1, 2022

Old typewriter with blank sheet of paper and pink textured frame

It’s that time of year again. November 1 is not only the day to eat KitKats for breakfast, it’s the official start to what’s known in the writing community as: NaNoWriMo.

NaNo – what mo?

NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth.

NaNoWriMo is the month-long event where writers of all genres write all the words. Okay, maybe not all the words, but on average, about 1,700 daily as a way to reach a goal of 50,000 words. For many, it’s a way to fast-draft a novel in just one month.

Write a book in a month? Yes!

It may sound daunting, but as a writer who has participated in NaNo, I’ll go on record saying, “It is absolutely daunting.” But it’s also challenging and a fun way to connect with the writing community, if you choose to dive in and become a WriMo.

The NaNoWriMo hashtag can be seen across social media, and if you’re on the fence about participating, go for it. It can be an amazing experience. However, if the thought of trying to meet a certain word count every day for an entire month feels overwhelming — skip it. It’s okay not to NaNo.

I’ll say it again. It’s okay not to NaNo.

Seriously. No one’s judging you.

Write at your own pace. Slow, fast, it’s all good.

It took me a long time to realize that I’m not the type of writer who enjoys the fast draft. It brings me a certain level of anxiety to draft without doing some level of editing. So for me, it’s no NaNo and that’s just fine. I’ll be spending the next several weeks weaving clues and red herrings in my YA murder mystery while querying my MG fairy tale-esque story: THE THIEF, THE COOK, & THE WITCH’S BOOK.

But if you’re a writer who feels left out seeing all those NaNo word counts and sprints posted, why not try your own version? Do a MiNiWriMo like author Lisa Schmid. Strive for a more manageable word count that won’t stress you out.

And if you are doing a full NaNo this month, go you! I hope your month is filled with words, fun, and writing mojo. Maybe, like me, you’re slow-drafting. Or maybe, you’re thinking about dipping a toe into the wonderful world of book writing. That’s awesome too. Dive it. Do it. We need your story.

Happy writing!

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