NaNoWriMo 2022 Update

Happy National Novel Writing Month! Whether you’re a writer participating, you’ve heard about NaNoWriMo because of friends taking part, or you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, I wish you a month filled with stories. For hundreds of thousands of authors, November is a time to attempt the Herculean task of writing 50,000 words (around 200 pages) of a novel over the course of 30 days. In other words, expect me and plenty of others to be in caffeine-fueled hazes of delirium for the next few weeks while we spend more time with our characters than actual people.

Though part of me rails at the thought, 2022 marks thirteen years since I started writing more seriously. I’ve participated in NaNo many times over that span; often I failed to hit the goal, other times I conquered it. But regardless of the amount of words I actually managed during the month, I always felt like I emerged from NaNoWriMo in a much better position than I entered it.

The thing I love most about National Novel Writing Month is that it’s a perfect excuse to re-evaluate your writing schedule. If you’re already pushing your storytelling to the limit on a daily basis, it can be a super productive month to finish out the year. If you’ve been on a writing hiatus, it’s an excellent opportunity to get back into gear. And if you’re somewhere in the middle, as I was this year, it can be great for finding the equilibrium to start making headway again.

Whether you “win” NaNoWriMo or not, that hard check on your priorities and time management can be an incredible learning experience. The 50,000 words can be amazing to have under your belt, but the habits developed along the way can be even better in the long run.

Photo by Caio on

NaNoWriMo is perfect for reflecting on your writing journey and needs

How does writing fit into your lifestyle and schedule? The answer will change throughout your career, often whenever your life shifts in major or even sometimes minor ways. Since NaNoWriMo is a month to prioritize writing stories, it’s also the perfect time to reassess whether that balance needs to be adjusted to accommodate where you are now, as opposed to where you used to be.

For me, the name of the game this NaNo has been finding ways to better balance my day job writing with my creative writing. The biggest change from last year’s event to this one is that I’m now working full time at Winter Is Coming and writing articles for the site most every day. On average I churn out around 3,000 words per day; some days less, others much more. Generally, I’m writing quite a lot.

That makes turning around and writing fiction in my after-work hours a lot more challenging than it was when I worked at other day jobs or did the starving artist thing, focusing solely on my writing and music. At WiC I’m using the same muscles for work that I do for writing stories. And as much as I try to convince my body otherwise, I only have a finite amount of time and energy each day to get all the things I want to done.

Learning how to coordinate my natural biorhythms with my work and life needs has been essential. Try though I might, waking up early to write simply isn’t my thing. I’ve always been a night owl. It’s just the way I’m wired, and a big part of my creativity has always lived in those magic hours when the world is asleep. I literally wrote the first draft of this blog post at 2 a.m. so yeah…this is just what I do.

For this first week and a half of NaNoWriMo, I’ve just been enjoying taking the time to explore what it means to better balance my two separate writing schedules, and remember why I love writing stories in the first place. It’s been refreshing as hell, if I’m being honest.

Sticking with that that idea of keeping things low pressure, I’ve been doing things a little differently this NaNo: instead of working on a novel, I’m aiming to finish a few pieces of shorter fiction. Tonight I completed the first one, capping off a science fiction novelette that I’ve been wanting to finish for months. I’m not sure if I’ll ever share it, and it almost certainly is not very good in its current state…but the act of simply writing it has been a blast. And finishing it has been even more of one. I’m very excited to move onto the next, and keep writing through the month!

Whether I hit the wordcount or not, if I come away from November with a better understanding of where I am right now as a writer and some habits that better fit my needs, I’ll count that as a win.

Wordcount: 8,025 / 50,000

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: