NaNoWriMo 2018: A Postmortem And Practical Tips From A Beginner

I finally did it.

Every now and then – when Murphy’s Law cuts me a break and the planets align through some sort of ordinance – a couple good things happen in quick succession. I’ve always been wary of putting too much faith in good events because I’m a cautious person by nature, but November was a good month for me. For the first time ever I managed to participate in NaNoWriMo (details on the event are here).

The final tally.

Not only did I complete the 50,000 words required to ‘win’ the competition, but I finished the first full draft of my novel at just under 80,000 – a big feat for a beginner like myself who was terrified of entering.

I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for ages, but I’ve always been held back by my anxiety. What if I start and don’t finish? What if I fall short of 50,000 words, or I end up hating my manuscript? These are the thoughts that kept me up at night.

There’s a ton of NaNoWriMo how-to posts out there, and I don’t want to add to the deluge, but if you’re thinking of participating in NaNo and you’re an anxious writer like me, my tips might help.

As always with writing advice, take mine with a grain of salt – there’s no right way to go about drafting a story. This is doubly so if you write on the fly. You’ll probably find my need for structure to be suffocating.

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