You don’t have to do Nanowrimo in November

Camp Nano is more than halfway done, and this is the first post I’m doing about it. What is this, who even am I?

So I was talking with some fellow writers during a writing date a few weeks ago. I, all bright eyes and ready for some writer bonding, asked if anyone else was doing Camp Nano.

The response I got, almost universally, is that more people would like to do Nanowrimo if it wasn’t in November.

Which is understandable. For those of us in the states, November is the start of the holiday season. Decorating, baking, traveling, shopping, and family time quickly eat up your month. If you’re a student, this might be the end of your semester, which means finals. Finals, I understand, eat up your month and your mental stability.

July holds many of the same obstacles. It’s peak vacation time. Kids are out of school. There’s not a ton of time free if you’re a parent. 

Then, of course, there’s always the change life’s just going to hit you in the teeth. House fires, divorces, job losses, health issues. Any of these and lots more I didn’t mention might come up. Or, you know, something good might happen like a big move or a marriage or a baby. Life is going to keep right on life-ing around you, and it doesn’t give a damn about your plans to write 50,000 words in a month.

It also doesn’t give a damn if you have a blog post to write. Case in point, this post should have been up at six this morning. Best laid plans and all. 

Some people say that this is kind of the point of Nanowrimo. If you can write a novel during November, with all the festivities and finals, then you can do it anytime.

But maybe you don’t need to amp the difficulty level up to eleven. 

Then I have good news for you. You can do Nanowrimo any month of the year. 

I’ll grant that doing Nanowrimo outside of November does lack the cool winner prizes. But I’ve honestly never heard of a writer doing Nanowrimo for the half-off Dabble subscription. (Not bashing Dabble. It’s my preferred writer software.)

So let’s set that aside. 

To do Nanowrimo yourself, consider what it is about the contest that appeals to you. Make a list of all the reasons you’d like to do Nanowrimo. 

There’s the writing community. The challenge of getting in 50,000 words in a single month. The video game-like joy of watching your word count go up on a scoreboard. 

Whatever it is, consider how you can replicate it. If you love getting together with your writing peers, get together! Post your daily word counts and cheer each other on. If it’s that sweet chart that shows you how much you’ve written in a month, I have wonderful news for you. The Nanowrimo website is always there, and you can set up a monthly word count goal anytime you want. 

And if you ever need a cheerleader, hit me up on Twitter or Instagram. I’m always happy to be in your writing corner. 

There are so many barriers to writing a novel. What month it is shouldn’t be one of them. Take your life into your own hands, and do Nanowrimo whenever is best for you.

If you’d like to support this website, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-fi.


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