NaNoWriMo 2017 in Review

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

It’s December, which means NaNoWriMo 2017 is officially in the books. This is the second time I participated and the first time I hit the 50,000 word mark. I’m glad I did it.

Did you participate in National Novel Writing Month too? If so, you probably learned a lot about yourself as a writer. I know I did. Allow me to share my best takeaways.

You Really Can Do It

Writing an entire novel seems impossible—until you do it. Participating in National Novel Writing Month is proof of that fact.

This year, I enjoyed using the NaNoWriMo website to track my progress. I entered my word count every day to see how many words I wrote each day, and how many more I needed to stay on track for my goal. Super handy and a great way to stay motivated.

You Just Did the Hardest Part

Buy yourself a coke, champ. Filling a few hundred blank pages is a monumental accomplishment.

Of course, we’ve just got manuscripts right now. They’re not novels until we edit them!

Though this is another daunting task, we now have the confidence to do it. Plus, it’s actually pretty fun to paint a shinier coat over the initial strokes. Since we’ve been racing against the clock all month, it’s unlikely that our first draft is ready for readers.

So let’s reorganize and refine those raw concepts. The result is sure to be magnificent.

People Now Think You’re Awesome

I mentioned this in my pre-NaNoWriMo blog post, but I think it bears repeating: people are always impressed when you finish a novel manuscript. I once interviewed for an internship and was asked what accomplishment I was most proud of. My answer: “I finished a manuscript for a novel.” I don’t have conclusive evidence, but I think it went a long way toward getting the internship.

Just because NaNoWriMo’s over for this year doesn’t mean we should stop writing. Keep at it!


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