Wednesday, November 22, 2023

NaNoWriMo Lessons


NaNoWriMo is nearly 75% over. Shocking how quickly time goes by. How are you doing with your writing? Did you decide to participate? Did you plot it out or come up with an idea and run with it? 

Admittedly, I've never been a huge fan, but there is so much to gain if you commit to writing for thirty days. 


Maybe some writers can have an idea in their heads and run with it. I'm not sure there are many of those out there who are successful. After all these years of being a total panster, I've discovered sometimes you need more than just the idea or a few character sketches.

This year's approach involved following a process of creating a synopsis, scene settings, a list of characters and their story arcs; outlining the plot, subplots, and inciting incidents; and then developing numerous scenes, so that when writing began, the words flowed easier.


It can take an average of 30 to 60 days to change a bad habit, and longer than two months to create a habit. When you have only 30 days to reach 50,000 words, you need to hit 1,667 daily or be willing to make up the gap the next day. 

Daily writing has numerous benefits. It helped me write faster than ever before, even if I am still slower than I would like. Other known benefits include:

  • Becoming more aware of overused words and phrases
  • Learning what your writing style is
  • Giving you a sense of accomplishment
  • Potentially making you more money

Writing can be a solitary task. Critique groups serve their purpose, but with NaNoWriMo you can have buddies to cheer you on. This is something I encourage you to find even after NaNoWriMo is over. 

Whether you participated this year or not, here's hoping you are developing a plan to increase your productivity in 2024 with daily writing. 

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and award-winning editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she is a member of SCBWI and lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three adult children. Visit Cheryl's website at or her children’s book blog at


  1. Best Nano gift for me? a deadline. I didn't participate this year. but I am working on two Nano Novels which one way or the other will be published. Happy Thanksgiving

  2. That's great news. I agree that the deadline helps. Wishing you the best.