12 Reasons for 12 Years of NaNoWriMo


This year will be my twelfth NaNoWriMo! I can’t imagine doing anything else with my November every year.

Some people might wonder why I come back to the same challenge year after year so I made a list!

My 12 Reasons for Coming Back to NaNoWriMo (in no particular order)

  1. community
    You can find people doing NaNoWriMo almost anywhere online. It’s great! You can make new friends, and the excitement of discovering old friends who also do NaNoWriMo can’t be beat.
  2.  some years it was the only time I wrote consistently
    I feel like I owe NaNoWriMo a debt of gratitude for the years I couldn’t manage a consistent, year-round writing routine for at least getting me to write every day for a month.
  3. excuse to write with joyful, reckless abandon
    Nothing gets me to just write like NaNoWriMo. Moments of doubt and hesitation are met by writer friends encouraging me to just write it out and deal with problems with my writing after I actually have something written.
  4. forums
    I’m mostly a lurker on the forums, but it’s a great source of inspiration or procrastination… whichever I’m looking for at the moment.
  5. word wars
    Word wars are one of the best ways to toss myself headfirst into writing for the day and NaNoWriMo makes it possible to find people to war with at any time.
  6. write-ins
    The days I go to write-ins are my most productive days of all. The change of scenery and the motivation I get from writing around other writers really gives me a boost. It’s easy to forget to go out and socialize during a massive writing marathon so having write-ins to blend the writing and the socializing really helps.
  7. trying to beat my personal best
    50,000 words in a month is still a challenge for me, but I start every NaNo trying to write more than I’ve ever done before. The years I do manage to accomplish something I’ve never done before are always extra memorable.
  8. statistics
    NaNoWriMo has been adding more personal statistics over the last few years and I love them! Having charts to track my progress and lists to tell me how many words per day I need to finish on time make me a very happy writer.
  9. friendly competition
    I’m not ashamed to admit it. I check on my writing buddies and when one of them has more words than me, I make it my mission to get my word count higher than theirs.
  10. learning new ways to plan and write
    With all the new writer friends I make through NaNoWriMo, it is almost impossible to not pick up some new tips and tricks along the way. Everyone has their own way of doing things that works for them, and if I think it would work for me, I’m going to give it a try.
  11. finding new writers to follow and new books I want to read
    NaNoWriMo gets a lot of people to try writing novels that never thought they could. Odds are, I’ll never read most of them (there are too many and most people never share/publish their work from NaNoWriMo) but I do discover a few new authors and books every year.
  12. remembering why I love writing so much
    Some years I get down in the dumps and find myself hating writing. Then NaNoWriMo rolls around again and the collective joy for the craft is infectious. It’s impossible for me not to love writing at this time of year.

How many years have you been doing NaNoWriMo? What are you reasons for coming back year after year?

23 thoughts on “12 Reasons for 12 Years of NaNoWriMo

  1. I’m super new at NaNo. I only participated in Camp NaNo this past July but I had so much fun, so I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, too. In July, I managed to finish my first novel and now I’ll try to finish my second one. FYI, the first is currently being edited.
    I can’t wait for NaNo to start! We’re gonna have major fun! 🤗🎉🌺


  2. This’ll be my ninth year! And a lot of my reasons for coming back are the same as yours. The word wars, the community, the stats…

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  3. This is my ninth year of NaNoWriMo. I keep coming back because I enjoy the social side of it, and I do my most prolific writing when I have a proper target. Plus I guess it’s become a habit at this point and it would feel wrong not to do it!

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  4. I’m on my third year of NaNoWriMo. I just announced my project for this year on the site, the second draft of the novel I was working on last year. 😊


  5. Yes! Every one of these! (Although I’ve never been to a write in. I keep chickening out but I’m gonna try again this year.)

    This is my 13th year! Some years it was the only thing I write all year. Nanowrimo kept my love of writing alive and I’m so grateful for that.

    The only year I skipped, I literally erupted in words in March. 😂 I wrote 50k and then some.

    I’ve never met anyone whose done Nano as many times as I have. What’s your username? I’d love to have you in my friends list!


    • Write-ins are great! Some of them are chattier than others, but even taking some time to chat about NaNo with others is worthwhile and it’s usually not too hard to get a word war started.

      My username is demonicsoul87 on NaNoWriMo. It’s one of my last throwbacks to my AOL days and I can’t bring myself to change it now that we have that option.

      Good luck with NaNo this year!


  6. Yep. All of these reasons. This is my 7th year, and it’s my favorite month of all! I get so excited along about October. My students write with me, and they start getting jazzed, too. It’s the most fun!

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