The Fears of NaNoWriMo

November 1st. To many, it’s just another day in the year. To writers, it means that it’s the first day of NaNoWriMo. What is NaNoWriMo? To sum it all up, it’s when writers try to write 50 000 words in the 30 day month of November. If you want to know more about it, check out here. If you want to get involved with it, go here.

As per usual, I’m participating again this year and I encourage you to do so as well. NaNoWriMo can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Sometimes it starts off one way and turns into the other, sometimes you get both emotions at the same time. Personally, what I’m dealing with at the moment, and what I know is a major stumbling block for many Wrimos, is confidence.

Confidence plays a huge part in a writers overall success of NaNo. Depending on your level, it can either help or hinder you. For me, I’m entering NaNo this year feeling the most confident I’ve ever felt – and believe it or not, it’s unsettling. I’m working with a particular set of characters I’m super familiar with; I know the plot I have to write like the back of my hand. So why am I nervous? Because it’s NaNoWriMo, and because anything and everything can go wrong.

On the other hand, my closest writing friend, and my co-conspirator for all things writing, is facing the same problem, but for the opposite reason. This year, she is almost completely¬†pantsing NaNo. Yes, she technically has a story premise and knows a little of what’s going to happen, but she has absolutely no idea where her plot will end up. She’s dealing with a lack of confidence issue and a sense of feeling lost in it all.

So how do you deal with either of these scenarios, you may ask? The truth is, I don’t really know. NaNoWriMo is such a stressful month that for the most part, all sort of advice and suggestions tends to fly out the window. Now, that doesn’t mean if you’re facing this situation you’re completely messed and are going to lose it.

For people that have a lack of confidence due to feeling under-prepared, my best advice to you is just stick with it. Talk to others, preferably writers, but if you don’t have them, just talk to someone who knows you well. Talk out your issues and problems and concerns – maybe they’ll be able to help you with something.

For people like me, that are nervous for feeling over-prepared, it’s more difficult to give any advice. I’ve never faced this particular problem before; every other year participating in NaNo I’ve been the other case scenario. A suggestion? Keep telling yourself that you’ve got this. That you know what you need to do and now you just need to do it.

So there you have it. Have other suggestions or comments? Please leave them below and help a fellow Wrimo out. As always, keep writing, and Wrimos, I’ll see you on the other side. Good luck.

Until next time.


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