First, to all of you who reached that 50K goal–CONGRATS! It’s a major accomplishment that you should be immensely proud of. And those of you–like me–who gave it your best but just didn’t hit your word goal–congrats to you too! You gave it a shot and you wrote words, and that’s all that matters!
Going into November, I had every intention of writing 50,000 words. I had done it the year before, so why couldn’t I do it again? My final word count was around 25,000 (including some writing I did beforehand) and I’m honestly content with that. Now, as an extremely competitive person, it was weird to be OK with my final count. Shouldn’t I have done more? Couldn’t I have done more? All those hours wasted on social media… I could have used that time to write! Trust me, the guilt was there, just not anymore.
You might be asking “How?” How in the world did you overcome the guilt? Because I’m sure there are at least a few of you who fell short of your goal and feel horrible about it. I think part of the reason I don’t feel guilt is the fact that I truly did try. I crunched out thousands after thousands of words–I made it a quarter of the way through my novel!
Second, I had a LOT going on in November. From work, to projects, to editing. It was a stressful month, which definitely stifled my creativity. There were so many days I’d sit down to write, but my mind was preoccupied with publishing, other obligations, and the fact that I decided I had enough time to direct a Christmas play (typical Enneagram 3, am I right? XD) that I wasn’t even able to form a single coherent thought relating to my novel.
The thing is: Not Every November is Going to Be the Best Time to Write.
Read that again.
I think we have this mentality that everything needs to get dropped in favor of NaNoWriMo, when, in fact, it doesn’t. Yes, it’s a GREAT opportunity to flex and use that creativity of yours and to push your writing limits, but it isn’t mandatory to being a good writer. And not winning does NOT mean you’re a failure as a writer.
So if this November you didn’t quite reach 50K, if you only got half-way, if you weren’t even close, or if you wrote absolutely nothing–THAT IS OKAY! Perhaps you just weren’t motivated, didn’t have the time, it was a trying month emotionally and/or physically, or you had writer’s block. You’re no less of a writer for it! 50,000 words is a LOT, and to those who accomplished it, you go! And if you didn’t, know that NaNoWriMo doesn’t dictate the quality of a writer that you are.
Did you win NaNo this year? Why or why not? Let’s chat in the comments!