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Perseverance Pays Proficiency

NanoWriMo2023 Writing Advice

By Kenny PennPublished 22 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023
Photo in collaboration with Getty Images on Unsplash +

Whew! The first week of NaNo is over, and you've either developed the worst case of carpal tunnel known to mankind, or you feel like good ol’ Charlie Brown’s doppelgänger; like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t win. Most likely, you’re somewhere in between.

If you’re one of the former, chances are you're feeling pretty good about yourself (though a bit tired, I'd wager). You’ve hit that goal, wrote 1,667 words per day, and now you already have almost 12 thousand words on paper! Amazing! You’re about a fourth of the way through a novella! Maybe you’ve gone even further and smashed that goal, hitting those upper teen thousands. If so, congratulations, you’re killing it!

But for the later, things are a bit different. You're behind, perhaps way behind. That 50k looks further away now than when you started. Maybe you’ve struggled to find the time to write, or to find motivation. Perhaps your 'real' jobs have been super busy, leaving you exhausted, or maybe you simply didn’t spend enough time planning and are staring at a blank page, wondering where to go from here.

Either way, you’ve got just over three weeks left, and that finish line can look like miles away. We all need encouragement from time to time, even those of us who are ahead. It can be pretty daunting to look at the calendar and realize there are so many days of writing left! So, I'd like to leave you with some words of advice and encouragement.

1. Don't, under any circumstances, give up - This is the number one rule, the golden rule, you might say. It can be tempting, especially if you fall behind, to just throw your hands in the air and walk away. The ones who push themselves the hardest often burn themselves out early and decide to throw in the towel. Don't do it!

2. Take breaks if you need them - Pace yourself. Some of us, like me, find it exceedingly difficult to power through 1500 plus words at a time. If you're one of those people, take a break! Stand up, go get a coffee, call a friend, or, my favorite, do some research! Breaks are perfect for getting that bit of Googling out of the way while keeping you in the writing state of mind.

3. Remember why you took the challenge - Maybe you wanted to tackle that first novel, or you just wanted to polish your skills by writing several short stories. Either way, if you need that extra motivation, remember why you started NaNo in the first place.

4. Move those goalposts - I know, this is a term we hear in negative conotations all the time. But for NaNo, it's fine! If you can't hit 50k, aim for what you think you can. If you fall too far behind your initial goal and it seems overwhelming, don't give it up as a lost cause, adjust your goal. Maybe start with little ones and work your way up.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for help - I can't stress this enough. The goal of NaNo is less about the amount of words you write than it is writing with a community of other writers. We are here for you! We're happy to offer the encouragement, advice, or just the listening ear you need. Join the Vocal Discord channel or find one that is full of other writers. You're far more likely to acheive your goals with support.


Got any advice of your own? I'd love to hear it! Leave a comment below to let us know how you get through NaNo!


About the Creator

Kenny Penn

Hello and thank you for reading. I enjoy writing in various genres, but my favorites are horror/thriller and epic fantasies.

If you like my stories, please heart and subscribe, and consider looking me up on Wattpad and

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Comments (11)

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  • Rana Shafiq6 days ago

    I am professor Shafiq masters in Mathematics and post graduate,in computer science I teach maths, physics and chemistry. my interpretation is purely based on students' comprehension ability. If the student doesn't understand the subject, I explain with the basics until he understands the topic. Basically maths is a logical subject, if we grasp magic we don't need to worry about maths subject.... Very positive and productive content ♥️♥️

  • The Dani Writer20 days ago

    Writers make the best family! What a supportive story to share Kenny. Glad that it was featured for the world to see.

  • Cathy holmes20 days ago

    I'm not a participant myself, but would like to offer encouragement to who are. You guys rock! Good Luck to you all. Congrats on the TS, Kenny.

  • Paul Stewart20 days ago

    Kenny, this was the extra bit of motivation I needed today! Thank you! I appreciate the care, thoughtfulness and supportive nature of your words. I agree with all your tips and there is something there for everyone. I'm not quite in the 10,000s yet, but I'm not going to beat myself up. This is the first time I have ever written a fictional piece that stretches out over so many words, so what will be will be. I am enjoying the process, even though I started without an idea lol (long story, but I had intended on working on a project I had on the backburner, but wanted to play strictly by the rules, and as something I had published here was going to be included in that project, felt it I should start something fresh so I was only writing from November 1st - harsh, but as it's my first time, wanted to really commit to it properly.) Anyway, thanks again for the words of encouragement and keep seeing your percentage going up and think "yay". Congrats too on this getting Top Story!

  • Artieinfo20 days ago

    I agree

  • These are some excellent tips! I think taking breaks is the most important one. I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo but I find taking breaks very helpful when I'm writing anything. Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Mr Ahsan20 days ago

    What a fantastic pep talk for all NaNoWriMo participants! Your words are not only encouraging but also filled with practical advice, reminding writers that they're not alone in this creative journey. Your positive and supportive tone can uplift anyone feeling the weight of the challenge, making them believe in their ability to keep going. Well done!

  • Heather Hubler21 days ago

    What wonderful encouragement! I signed up for the first time this year, and knew the moment I did, my schedule would fill in all that time. Ugh. Oh well, I'm just going at my own pace. So excited for everyone that gives it a try!!

  • SC Wells21 days ago

    Some kind and motivating words here. Congratulations on working your way towards your nano goal (and writing an essay on top of that!) You're doing an awesome job

  • Thank you for the positivity! Great advice and I’m loving having a go at Nano, it’s really got me focused - never write enough words during weekdays though 🤍

  • Lamar Wiggins21 days ago

    Man! More power to everyone who is actively taking part. Your advice is spot on, especially #3. You must always remember why you strive to conquer goals. Best of luck to everyone!

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