7 NaNoWriMo Myths Busted

7 NaNoWriMo Myths Busted
October 21, 2016 1 Comment For Authors, Writing Advice Stephanie Ayers

ourwriteside-com-5You’re committed at this point. You’ve followed the best tips, but as the month approaches, you question your sanity.

Don’t fall for one of the many NaNoWriMo writing myths.

Let’s discuss them, one at a time.

Myth #1: You will have a completed book at the end of the 30 days.

While this would be awesome, it’s not always true. Fifty thousand is just a marker. Many books are far longer than that, falling into the 75,000-150,000 word range. The point is to write, to get something going, to get into the practice of focusing on your writing, making time throughout your day to write, and setting daily word goals to get to The End. Don’t be misled by the myth that you must have a finished product on Day 30. Concentrate on the story. Don’t push it to make it more than it is, but don’t cut it short and rush to the ending either.

Myth #2: You will have a hot off the presses ready to market book.

No, this is merely your first draft. You wrote shamelessly, though hopefully without too much “filler.” Unless you’re a mad writing fiend and finished your novel within the first two weeks, you can and should expect to spend months preparing second, third, maybe even fifteenth drafts until you get your final product. NaNo is just a means to get you started.

Myth #3: Writing that many words in 30 days absolutely cannot produce anything worth keeping.

This is also false. We are our own worst critics, and while you may feel the words on the pages are absolute crap, I can promise you they aren’t. They may need some refining. Some parts that really are rubbish may need to be cut. You may have a demon or two that must be exorcised before the story completes, but it’s not a waste of time or effort. There’s gold there, and that is the real truth.

Myth #4: NaNoWriMo makes it easy for anyone to write a book.

Truth. The fact is anyone CAN write a book. It’s a matter of putting words on paper until you’re done. Not everyone can sell a book, however, and that is where YOU come in. Also, not everyone who participates in NaNo seeks to gain fame and fortune from their work. Some just want the satisfaction of doing it, crossing it off their dwindling bucket list of things to do before they die. This doesn’t diminish your efforts, nor does it make your work any less marketable. You can go as far as you want to with your work.

Myth #5: It’s a waste of time as nothing good ever came out of NaNoWriMo.

This is 150% false. Many famous authors participate in NaNo, they just don’t talk about it. As for the time wasting part–I’ll give you two books that began as NaNoWriMo projects and went on to be bestsellers: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. There are many more out there that started exactly as you did and rose to fame through their own efforts and devotion to the novel they began in November.

Myth #6: You have to cut yourself off from the world to win.

Ideally, you should be able to write under any circumstances so this shouldn’t even matter. With a steel resolve to stay off social media and an iron will to write, you should be able to produce while you cook dinner for your family. Distractions will always exist. NaNoWriMo is a great way to learn how to power through them anyway.

Myth #7: NaNoWriMo is only for the inexperienced writer, aspiring authors, and newbies to the field.

This is also false. While many of the connections you can make during this time in the NaNo forums are fledgling authors, there are pros in the midst too. And many traditional publishing houses will print your book. Need proof? Here is a list of authors whose NaNo projects gained publication.

I’m sure there are more myths out there to send shivers down your spine and convince you that NaNoWriMo is out of your league, but it’s really not. What are the myths you’ve heard? How did you discover the truth about them?

[bctt tweet=”I bust 7 @NaNoWriMo myths in one #blog. @theauthorSAM #writingtips #write #amwriting ” username=”OurWriteSide”]


Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.

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