Why You’re Still a Winner If You Don’t Win NaNoWriMo

Posted December 2, 2015 by Briana in nanowrimo / 4 Comments

Every year for the past several years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)–even this year. See, I even wrote a post about it! I’ve “won” almost every year that I’ve participated (“winning” is established once you reach 50K words).
This year, though, I found that life got in the way–more so than usual. Despite my optimism and countless pep talks, I wasn’t able to win this year. At a measly 18K, I didn’t even come close.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not a winner.


When it comes right down to it, the point of NaNoWriMo isn’t necessarily to finish. (I’m sure a few people will want to argue with me on this one. Oh well.) To me, NaNoWriMo is all about possibility; learning that, although writing a novel is tough, it is something that anyone and everyone has the capacity to try–and maybe even succeed.

NaNoWriMo is important not because it leads to a finished product, but because it gets people writing. It encourages you to put words down every day, develop a habit, and cultivate the self-discipline that’s vital to writing a book. It allows you to realize your potential. Most importantly, it leads to a further appreciation of storycrafting itself.

I’m sure this post will come off much more hokey than I mean it to. What I’m trying to say that, while I believe in the merits of NaNoWriMo, you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about not writing a novel in a month. I didn’t write one this month, either! And the books I have finished, most notably Blood and Watertook me much longer than a month to complete.

If you did win NaNoWriMo, congratulations! If you didn’t, just remember that there’s so much more to strive for. You should be proud of yourself for even attempting to write a novel. If nothing else, remember this: I am proud of you.

How did you do with NaNoWriMo this year? How do you feel about NaNoWriMo in general?

Tweet tweet:

Didn’t win #NaNoWriMo? Here’s why @brianawrites still thinks you’re a winner. (Click to tweet)

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4 responses to “Why You’re Still a Winner If You Don’t Win NaNoWriMo

  1. BRIANA!!!! I needed this post omg. Yes, I only got to 13K this year, but it’s still more than I have ever written for NaNoWriMo or even the Camp NaNoWriMos (where the minimum is 10K, hey now I know I can do it!)I think what I found most valuable, was the sense of community from my region and also just going on twitter and seeing those word sprint encouragements and knowing that there were a whole lot of CRAZY (Let’s face it, most, ahem, ALL authors have at least SOME element of crazy in them!) people even attempting to write a novel in a month! (WHICH IS VERY STRESSFUL AT TIMES) And knowing that, and also interacting with others who were pretty much in the exact same boat as me (minus final year high school exams smack bang in the middle ( I blame them for my word count btw. XD)) just gave me some sense of YOU CAN DO THIS because lots of people were around me.
    Also, word sprints and word wars are fun! COMPETITIVE NATURE HELLZ YEAH!!!!
    Thanks for sharing Briana! I really enjoyed this post, and hey good work to the both of us for getting as far as we did! Also congratulations on the publication of Blood and Water!!! *claps for you*
    Sorry about the super long comment!!! xoxo

  2. admin

    Renee, don’t worry about the long comment–I LOVE long comments! I appreciate all of your love and support for my writing and for BLOOD AND WATER. 🙂 And I’m also happy to give some of that support and encouragement back to you through this post!

  3. I didn’t win NaNoWriMo this month either. You’re right in what you mentioned. NaNoWriMo is mainly about getting the story out of your head and onto the paper. Ignoring your inner critic and focusing solely on getting words down on the page.

    The pep talks you posted were great. And thanks for posting snippets of your novel! I can’t wait to read more!