NaNoWriMo, Cheating, Losing, and Winning

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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was an odd experience for me this year. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that I didn’t meet the “winner” requirements. I didn’t make 50,000 words for the month.

I finished at 37,154.

How would one even write out that number?

Thirty-seven thousand, one hundred and fifty-four?

Such a clunky word-count total. Nothing sexy about it at all.

It would’ve been nice to reach 40,000. But that didn’t happen, either. So yeah, I lost.

But that’s okay. There’s a bright side.

I spent part of NaNoWriMo finishing a book that I had started writing in June. That’s right. I cheated, doggonit.


NaNoWriMo participants are supposed to start writing a brand new book on November 1. Instead, I continued writing the book I had been working on before. New words are what counts.

Luckily, NaNoWriMo cheating isn’t a big deal. They even call us rebels. I’ll take that. Sounds kinda bad-ass.


Bringing my WIP across the finish line during NaNoWriMo—typing “The End” on my manuscript—was a great feeling. I think that’s why I’m not too upset that I didn’t reach 50,000 words.

I achieved an end-goal that makes me very proud. And I’m excited to see what happens with this finished manuscript.

So yeah, I lost. By twelve-thousand, eight hundred, forty-six words.

But you know what? I still feel like a winner…

And a rebel.


How did you do for NaNoWriMo? Will you try again next year?

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash, Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash, Photo by Lydia Winters on Unsplash

Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

10 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, Cheating, Losing, and Winning

  1. Reblogged this on Ann Malley and commented:
    NaNoWriMo aftermath. How do you feel?

    GREAT, I hope. It’s over. And however much you accomplished, words are words, baby. Take it from my good pal, René Penn, author of Bachelorette Blogger.

    She rocks.

    Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

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