How to Win NaNoWriMo

It’s the first day of November, which means thousands of writers all over the world huddle around their notebooks and laptops and begin the quest to write 1,667 words every day for the next thirty days.

This epic quest to write 50,000 words in a month is huge, even if you’ve been participating in the challenge for years. Every novel—and every draft—has its own challenges to face, making each November’s writing journey different than all of those that have come before.

Many will reach 50,000 words. Many will not.

But hitting 50K isn’t the only way to win at NaNoWriMo!

Even though the very nature of the challenge emphasizes quantity over quality, you can still win without making the 50K-mark. Here are a few other ways to win at NaNoWriMo:

Whether your writing day ends with fifty more words or five-thousand, the thing to remember is that you wrote something. You made time to focus on your story and add to it. Sometimes, that’s the hardest part about writing!

Have fun.
This one is really important. While many of us joke about how difficult NaNo is and questioning why we signed up, it really is an opportunity to have fun with words. Whether you’re embarking on a new novel or waving the banner of rebel as you continue your current WIP, just remember to laugh and have fun along the way.

Enjoy the camaraderie.
Thousands of people all over the world, of all ages and backgrounds, are working toward a common goal of writing their novels—it’s pretty amazing. And if you’re participating in NaNo, you are one of them.

Even if you’re a solitary writer, there’s a lot of fellowship to be had in the NaNo community. Meet up with a friend who’s participating or join an online write-in. Chat with blog buddies about your novels and send encouragement to each other throughout the month. Catch a few writing sprints now and then. It’ll help your word count and you might even make some friends along the way.

Enjoy your story.
Writing a novel can be really, really tedious, especially on a deadline, and it’s easy to stress because of this, even if the story is one we really, really want to write.

Every story is different, and even during the tough times, there are always things to love about the novel you’ve chosen to write in November. Maybe it’s a character or a story location or a plot point that you’ve been daydreaming of writing. Whatever it is, remember why you love your story.

And if you make it to 50,000 words at the end of November, well—that’s pretty good too.
What do you define as “winning” during NaNoWriMo? Let’s chat!