43 Things You Think During NaNoWriMo

by Emma Cueto

It's November, which for some people means it's time to stop shaving and for other people means it's time to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Yes, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, is here! Let the word counts begin.

For those who have never heard of this delightful tradition, NaNoWriMo is an annual event that challenges participants to write 50,000 words between midnight on the morning of November 1 and 11:59pm on November 30. Total, that averages out to 1,667 words a day, every day. As you can imagine, it's not easy. And yet every year, hundreds of thousands of people sign up to take on the challenge. Some make it to the coveted 50,000 word mark and "win," and some don't, but no matter where you end up, the point is to just have fun and get some words down on paper.

Of course, in addition to being fun, NaNo is also hard. Really hard. I mean, it requires 1,667 words every day, even the days when you're tired or busy or out of ideas. It is not for the faint of heart, and those who have attempted it, whether they win or not, all share the bond of simply having gone through it. Because trust me, the whole thing is quite an experience.

And the month goes a little something like this:

I Can Totally Do This! (I Think)

Oh Look, This Is So Much Fun

Who knew writing could be so much fun? And there's a website with all these forums and you can update your word count every ten words and everything.

Look At All These People!

All social media platforms have been magically turned into communities full of other writers doing NaNo. Plus there are all these people on the website forums. It's like suddenly getting a few hundred thousand neurotic friends.

Look at My Word Count!

It's getting so big already! Look at it! Look at it!

Oops! That Wasn't Supposed to Happen

Wait, the story just went off in a direction I wasn't planning. How did that happen?

These Words Are Not My Best Words

Yes, the writing isn't as good as I'd like, but editing is for December! Now we just write!

I Remember This Idea Being Better

This seemed so much more interesting during pre-writing.

This Is Getting Kind of Hard

Why Does This Character Suck?

How did someone that seemed so great in my head turn out so disappointing?

Wait, Somebody Won Already???

How is that even possible? I'm two hundred words behind where I'm supposed to be today!

Where Is The Coffee?

My Friends Think I'm Nuts

No, I'm not crazy for doing this, I just need more coffee okay?

This Is Officially Hard

I Can't Write Today, I'll Make It Up Tomorrow


Is it even possible to make up these words?

No, I Can't Go Out I'm Behind On My Word Count

I will hang out with you in December, OK?

Seriously, Coffee

Do I Even Have a Plot Anymore?

This story really isn't going like I'd hoped.

Why Did I Agree To Do This?

Seriously, what was I thinking?

All These Words Suck And I Don't Care

Why Is My Real Life Still A Thing?

I can't keep track of all this stuff. Can I split in two?

I Am Never Going To Finish

This is impossible. What time is it anymore?

That's It, No More Contractions

I don't even care if it sounds like cheating, I've been doing this forever. Do whatever it takes to up the word count.


My Friends Are Concerned

I just have a lot of words to write! Go away!

I Am Out Of Ideas

I can't think of anything else to write. Nothing. All the ideas are gone.

I Know, I'll Add a New Character!

That'll fix everything!

Well That Was a Bad Idea

Damn it!

Why Do People Keep Asking Me To Do Things?

There Is Definitely No Plot Anymore

But hey, it's too late to fix that now!

Wait, We're Kind Of Getting Close

It's almost Thanksgiving. How did that happen?

Almost There

Did you ever think I would make it this far?

Can't Blow It Now

I'm Going to Blow It, I Can't Do This

Must Read More Pep Talks

Where are those pep talks the site keeps sending me?

Pep Talks Are Making Me Feel Worse

These people clearly want me to succeed. Why is that bumming me out?

No, I Will Do It! I Just Need More Coffee!

Just a Few More Days

Stay calm, keep writing, it's going to be fine.

Just One More Day And Then I Can Sleep

I remember sleep.

50,000 words! I DID IT!!!

I WON!!!

Time to Celebrate!


Can I Sleep Now?

Write on, NaNo-ers, write on. And for the love of God, pass the coffee!

Images: Denise Krebs/flickr; Giphy (43)