November is over, and a large portion of the writing world is breathing a huge, and well-earned, sigh of relief. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over, and life can return to normal.
Some of us may be the proud owners of a NaNoWriMo winner’s badge for our social media profiles. Some of us (like me) may not. But, that’s alright. Contrary to popular belief, there’s more ways to turn NaNoWriMo into a win than hitting 50k words.
1: You Wrote Words
If you wrote words during NaNoWriMo, words that you didn’t have when the clock ticked from October into November, then you won.
I finished November with just over 27,500 words, even falling short of my personal goal of 30k. But, those are over 27k words I didn’t have in October. That is a very strong start to a story that I didn’t have in October. Win!
2: You Created a Regular Writing Habit
If you wrote every single day, or every few days, or every weekend, you’ve got the beginnings of a great writing habit that you can continue to build on through December.
If you got up earlier to write, or gave up an hour’s worth of TV to write each day, then you have a great writing habit that you can carry on with.
Procrastination is one of the biggest threats to your creativity and your writing, and building a regular writing habit is one of the best things you can do to combat that. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic way to create, or to get back into, a regular routine. If you did that, you’re a winner!
3: You Turned Off Your Inner Editor
By asking you to write a crazy amount of words in just a single month, NaNoWriMo requires you to turn off your inner editor. That little voice that stops you from writing because of some imagined need for your first draft to be perfect.
All authors have inner editors with annoying squeaky voices. Or, sometimes, loud booming ones. Some can be ignored, some can be flicked away. Others need burning, shooting, or smothering. Some can withstand days of torture before they break.
Turning off your inner editor, and allowing yourself to simply write without worrying about perfection is not easy. If you managed to shut yours up, or just to quieten them for a while, you won!
4: You Connected with Other Writers
If you chatted in the forums, joined in some online sprints, or attended a local writing event, then you’ve taken a huge leap to finding your tribe.
Having other writers to talk to is so important. They understand you in a way non-writers can’t. They can support you, and advise you, and help you to move your writing career to the next level.
You can become critique partners, or collaborate on writing projects, commiserate the losses, and celebrate the achievements, big and small. If you connected with other writers last month, you’re a winner!
5: You’ll Finish what You Started
So what if you didn’t end November with a complete novel? Many people who did will never touch theirs again (I have a few of those!)
If you continue writing the book you started, polish it, edit it, and go on to publish it, then you have the biggest win there is!
So, if you didn’t technically ‘win’ NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words, there are so many other ways that you gained a win in November. Give yourself the credit you deserve, and let us know all about it in the comments.
This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. You can visit all the participating blogs, or sign up yourself, HERE.