Posted by: writingwitch2013 | November 29, 2014

NaNoWriMo Winners and Losers


I always think ‘Winner’ is a strange word for the end of a NaNoWriMo challenge.

I finished my 50k words so therefore I am a winner, but if I had been one word short at midnight on 30 th November that would have made me a loser.

I didn’t finish a novel, and the challenge was a novel in a month, so technically I am not a winner. I wrote 50k words over three novels because I kept drying up and needed to press on. I imagine that at the end of the day, by the time I have cut out all the rubbish and gobbledygook I may have 20k decent words to build on.

A real novelist would argue that taking your time and writing quality work at a slower pace would be more beneficial. No burn out at the end of 30 days. No stress when the word count falls behind. No constant questions and accusing finger pointing when you slack off. No feeling a failure when you slow down and dry up at 10k words early on.

As a novelist, I am by all accounts NOT a winner.

…But neither am I a loser. I have those 20k good words as a foundation to build on. Writers who started on the first of November, and fell by the wayside, also have their word count under their belt as a foundation to build on. Unfortunately I have heard many of the latter utter words akin to failure, if they haven’t used the ‘failure ‘ word itself.

I prefer the word ‘Achiever’.

I am a NaNoWrIMo ACHIEVER.  I also completed the challenge.

Writers who didn’t complete the challenge are also achievers.

I have heard tales of people, I won’t call them writers, who start NaNoWriMo and just copy and paste the same sentence over and over again until they compile a 50k word bank, just to say they won. They are not winners, nor are they achieves, yet they are hailed as winners. They have the certificate, the acclaim, the discount goods, and the ability to make Nano a laughing stock. We know that because they tell people. They spread the word that they cheated the system easily.

I openly admitted to my region and friends on Facebook  that I had dried up 20k into my intended novel, so I carried on writing the Sequel to the intended novel as though they were the same book, then when that dried up I wrote the next novel in the sequence, and then plot notes, snippets of conversation, descriptions of the characters daily life, what they had for breakfast, where they went , what it looked like.. And the result is that I know my characters better, I have walked the places they walked, but none of that will go in either of the three novels because it is boring background stuff that isn’t needed.

I uploaded my 50k words without guilt, because at the end of the day, although not sure what day or indeed in what year, I will have a finished novel, built on the words from this month. I will have achieved.




  1. Excellent sentiments, well done

  2. Thank you for an inspiring blog. I’ve been watching everyone this week reach the 50K mark and berating myself for quitting so early. But you’re right, I might have only written 4000 words and all of that was plotting and planning but it is a novel planned, and characters sketched out.

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