The 14 Emotions Every Writer Feels During National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo is upon us, which means that writers all around the globe have challenged themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It sure doesn't sound easy, and believe me, it's not. When it's this late in the month, you can always pick out a NaNoWriMo writer out of the crowd by their exhausted, wired look and their ferverous typing. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, you probably can't go five minutes without thinking about your word count or pondering where your novel is going to go next. Or maybe you're walking around with the crushing guilt that you aren't where you need to be. Let's be real: every writer is feeling these emotions as we slide toward the finish line of NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is an emotional roller coaster ride. Like with any challenge, you have good days and bad days. There are times when it feels like you are on top of the world, and there are moments when you feel absolutely hopeless. Sometimes it feels like there are absolutely no words left in your brain.

The good news is that no matter what emotional stage you're at in the NaNoWriMo process, you are not alone. Here are some feelings we've all had during NaNoWriMo: the good, the bad, and the excruciating. Keep in mind that no matter how far behind you are or how rotten you feel, this is an awesome thing you're doing and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.

1. Optimistic


At the start of the month, 1,667 words a day seems like a piece of cake. The world is my oyster! You're going to write the Great American Novel and win the Nobel Prize.

2. Excited


Ooh, the words are coming! You're just cranking out those words like it's your freakin' job.

3. Frustrated


Sometimes writing can feel like a slog through the mud. It will feel like torture just to write 60 words, let alone 1,667. Push through it though, because there's nothing like feeling...

4. Inspired


Eureka! There's nothing like that moment when an idea hits you. And it springs forth another idea. And another, and another, until suddenly you've written a million words and feel like you're poised to be The Next Big Thing.

5. Exhausted


This is a HUGE task, and it takes so much energy. Sometimes you feel like you don't have anything left in you. Sucked dry, with no words (and certainly no plot) left.

6. Reckless


When you turn off your editor, sometimes things can get out of control, and that's OK. You can write anything you want! There are no rules! Let's go nuts!

7. Pessimistic


Oof, it's easy to look at your word count and feel like you'll never catch up. But guess what? You can totally do it.

8. Envious


How are all my NaNoWriMo buddies so far ahead of me?

9. Filled with despair


It's so easy to doubt yourself, especially when the end of the month is fast approaching and your word count is stuck in the trenches. But remember: you've got this. Just put your butt in the chair and write.

10. Guilty


When you haven't written in a while, it feels like you're walking around with something heavy weighing you down. It's so hard to push through that feeling of crushing guilt. Remember, your novel is not judging you!

11. Determined


Word count goal or bust! Sometimes you feel like you are getting those words down if it's the last thing you do.

12. Proud


I feel so awesome when I tell people that I have to go "work on my novel" or when I explain the NaNoWriMo challenge. This is seriously a cool thing we're doing.

13. Confident


That feeling of finishing your novel will make you feel like you can do anything.

14. Ecstatic


Entering in that final word count is the most amazing feeling in the world. You'll find yourself dancing in your pajamas or screaming from the rooftops. Even though there are tough spots of the month, that feeling makes it all so worth it. You've finished NaNoWriMo — now, it's time for edits.

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