Halfway there! (and now I’m singing Bon Jovi)

You’ve got your support system (read Part 1 here), and you’ve made it this far—fingers crossed—without going off the deep end (read Part 2 here)—are you on track to meet the 50,000-word goal by midnight on November 30th? If you aren’t, or if writing 50,000 words was never your aim in the first place, never fear! In today’s post, I am going to tell you, in my completely expert opinion, why writing 50,000 words in one month doesn’t have to be YOUR NaNoWriMo goal.


Let’s say you wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, so you’ve been doing your best to churn out 1,667 words/day, but 50,000 words seems like a tall order right now. It’s possible you are so busy you quite literally do not have the time to write 50k. Maybe you are new to writing fiction, and you aren’t ready to tackle a novel. Perhaps you are a slow writer, and 50,000 words in one month is just not how you roll. Or maybe you are perfectly capable of writing 50,000 words during November, and you’ve even done it before, but this month you wanted to try something different.

Writing 50,000 words in one month does not have to be your NaNoWriMo goal.

Yes, being able to say you wrote an entire novel in one month is exciting and can fill you with a sense of pride and accomplishment. However, hitting a specific word count does not a writer make. Or at least it’s not the only way to be a writer. I believe, when all is said and done, that NaNoWriMo is about coming together as a writing community, setting new goals, getting serious about old goals, pushing yourself to try new things and to work harder, forming good writing habits, and so much more! If your NaNoWriMo goal helps you do those things, then it is serving its purpose.

If you can’t write 50,000 words by the end of this month, or you would rather set a different goal for yourself, you can:

  • Set time, habit, chapter, or page goals (example: purpose to write for one hour each day or to write five pages each day)
  • Outline your next novel
  • Write character sketches for your WIP
  • Work on specific skills (example: you could practice writing dialogue one week, action scenes the next, and so on)
  • Write a flash fiction piece every day
  • Set a word count of your own choosing

And if you started out on November 1st with one goal but it no longer seems attainable, I’m giving you permission to set a new goal for yourself and start fresh today! Note: there is a difference between being realistic and taking the easy way out, and taking the easy way out won’t do you any good.

Are you shooting for 50,000 words, or do you have a different NaNoWriMo goal? Share your goals in the comments below, and I’ll see you back here next week for the final NaNoWriMo blog. 🙂