Don’t Give up on NaNoWriMo Yet

So it’s not going the way you wanted — there’s a lot of November left

George J. Ziogas


© Erda / Adobe Stock

Every year, writers everywhere crack open their laptops, flex their fingers, and attack their keyboards during the entire month of November, hoping to finally finish (or start, or write a big chunk of) their novel.

The NaNoWriMo acronym/abbreviation stands for “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s an event, but it’s also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the goal of the month (as supported by that corresponding organization), is that followers create a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

What an exciting month! What an exciting challenge! You’ve mentally signed on and you’re ready to type!

Except, one day, you realize it’s already November 15.

How does a person’s NaNoWriMo go off track?

Writing your novel is a great idea and you should totally do it. But you’re also probably a person with a job and a family and responsibilities and, because we’re all human, an immune system that may or may not be ready for the start of cold and flu season.

There was the day you had to work late and you couldn’t do much writing. There was the day your spouse had to go to help their parents and you had to make supper. Then there were the couple of days you were trying not to come down with a cold, and you decided you needed the sleep more than you needed to pursue the dream. Last, but not least, there were those days when your kid came down with the cold you missed, only it turned out to be RSV and they felt terrible for a week.

Such is life.

Even if you haven’t started your November strong, there’s still plenty of time for a big finish. Here are four ways to salvage the remaining two weeks of your NaNoWriMo:

Change the goal

During September and October, people make big plans to pound out an entire novel (or at least 50,000 cohesive words of one). They may even prepare by outlining a plot, writing character studies, or doing other prep work so they can end November with a finished (or finished-ish) product.

I’m not going to lie to you. If you haven’t written anything by November 15, you’d have to pound…



George J. Ziogas

Manners will take you where money won’t | HR Consultant | OHS Specialist | Personal Trainer |