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

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?

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