For Writers – 5 Non-Conventional Ways to Use NaNoWriMo


We’re halfway to November and here comes the NaNoWriMo peer pressure. Everyone else is doing it, so maybe you’re feeling obliged to give it a go, even though you find the concept of writing 50,000 words in a single month absolutely terrifying.

While many writers find energy and inspiration from the thrill of a worthy challenge, this isn’t the route for everyone.


NaNoWriMo is still a fantastic tool for writers, regardless of how you use it! Here are some non-conventional ways you can repurpose NaNoWriMo for your own, more manageable, writing goals.


Stats Tracker

NaNoWriMo’s stat bar is meant to help you visualize how much farther you have to go before reaching the 50,000 word goal. Instead, you could use it as your personalized writer’s FitBit!

HOW TO: Stick to your usual, everyday method of writing and input your word count. Use the stats at the end of the month to set reasonable deadlines for yourself or make adjustments to your writing schedule. This kind of knowledge is not only helpful to have, but can be a powerful motivator.



While you’re confident you could reach the 50,000 word goal, what you write is too short for NaNoWriMo. Novellas, KidLit, and poetry don’t really lend themselves to the sheer number of words demanded. You’ll run out of story before creative juice.

HOW TO: Prepare to work on multiple projects during NaNoWriMo. This is my personal method of choice, because I write Middle Grade. November splits evenly into thirds, so I select 3 projects and give myself 10 days per novel. As a bonus, this also keeps you from hitting a mushy middle; you can work on a different story when you get stuck.


Accountability Partner

The writing community during NaNoWriMo, especially on Twitter, is absolutely amazing. We’re all in the same, enormous boat, and we’re all cheering for each other. It’s the perfect time to share your writing highs and lows.

HOW TO: Commit to post a weekly update about your writing in November. Good, bad, or ugly, there are people who can relate and will be thankful for your transparency. The most important thing to remember here is that you can’t compare your writing speed to anyone else’s. Our individual creative processes might look very different but we’re all writers.


Daily Writer

That writing advice we always hear, “write every day” is a lovely thought, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Or do we?

HOW TO: Challenge yourself to write every day. Be it 80 words or 1,800, make an effort to update your NaNoWriMo stats because NaNo keeps track of how many days in succession you write. Can you make it all the way to 30 days? I’m betting you can.



Super Blogger

Maybe NaNoWriMo isn’t working for your novel, but there are other forms of writing that you could try. Blog posts, believe it or not, are just another form of writing. Instead of setting aside a whole day to create new content, you can work ahead and get up to a year’s worth of blog posts queued.

HOW TO: Use NaNoWriMo as you normally would, but instead of chapters, you’re writing articles! Or, if that’s too much, write a post every day. This is going to free up a lot of your time moving forward, so you can put more TLC into finishing your current WIP.



How are you making NaNoWriMo work for you?
Find me here if you want to follow my progress or join in on group word sprints!

Start your writing journey at right now!

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