Why I Went Against My Own NaNoWriMo Advice

Abby Jaquint
3 min readNov 29, 2019

And why I’ll probably do it again.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I am not going to “win” NaNoWriMo this year.

If you know me, you probably know me for my most popular article, where I talk about how to get through NaNoWriMo and succeed at it. But here’s the kicker: I didn’t take my own advice.

Granted, I did spend ten days away from technology completely (which is an entirely different article on its own), which was going to set me back no matter what, but I encountered another problem: my story wasn’t meant to be 50,000 words.

I hadn’t known this until this morning, when I realized there was no possible way I was going to reach 50,000 words. I was at a solid 37,000, and had woken up today with the goal of reaching 40k.

Needless to say, this didn’t happen.

I finished my NaNoWriMo at just under 40k words, and I was happy with that.

Even if I’d just preached about writing every day (I didn’t), not editing (I did), and not slowing down (I definitely slowed down), I was still happy with how everything turned out.

So why did I go against my own advice? Why didn’t I push through these last couple days and work as hard as possible to crank out my final 13,000 words?

I’m going to blame it on my plot.

Stories can only go on for so long. Some stories truly do takes hundreds of thousands of words, but mine just didn’t work out that way.

The plot could’ve been condensed completely into fifteen or twenty pages if I really tried, though I was determined to win at NaNoWriMo this year.

I have now lost two years in a row, and I’m not mad about it.

I did everything right, at first.

I made my characters, fleshed them out, created a timeline, put in dozens of plot points, separated it into acts, detailed most of the scenes, and opened up my blank document with plenty of ideas in my head.

So what went wrong? Why did I come up short with word count?

To put it simply, my story wasn’t meant to be that detailed. I could get my point across in a lot fewer words than I originally planned. And that’s okay!

Abby Jaquint

Novelist. 23. I write about writing and mental health. Check me out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!