Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo vs. W1S1

It's November, and for many of us that means it's NaNoWriMo time. This crazy effort to pump out 50,000 words in 30 days results in sleep drifting to the wayside and homes being left unclean. It requires diligence, perseverance, and perspiration to complete NaNoWriMo, which is not unlike the qualities needed of a W1S1 participant.

But the challenges are very different in their goals.

Whereas NaNo focuses on the rough draft of a novel, W1S1 is concerned with the submission of published stories to (paying) markets. What you write this week does not (and probably should not) need to be what you submit this week. You're encouraged to take your time in revision, polishing stories and submitting them during the week they are finally ready.

Yet like NaNo, we want you to stay on target with production. It's important to keep at it. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Create a habit for yourself to write daily, which is NaNo's most important lesson.

For those of you attempting to do both NaNoWriMo and the W1S1 challenge, I commend you. It's a daunting task, but doable. You may even consider integrating the two and counting your W1S1 story word count into your NaNo total. After all, NaNo judges only on words, not on number of projects (though admittedly, you're encouraged to focus on one).

The month of November is a time of insanity for writers worldwide. And whether you're working on your short stories, your novels, your crazy word counts, I want you to keep in mind what you're really doing at the core: working.

Writing is work. You get up, you go to work every day. W1S1 and NaNoWriMo are attempting to create a work environment for you, a habit, a routine. Clock-in, write your butt off, clock-out. Rinse and repeat.

The moral of this story is that it's not really NaNoWriMo versus W1S1 at all. It's all about whatever method helps you get in front of your keyboard/notebook/typewriter.

So write on WriMos. Write on W1S1ers. Write on writers.


  1. Our Daughter is taking part in NANO. However I support her if she cannot keep up because of the daily routine of life.

  2. You're right, Stephanie. Great post. For both, it's all about writing and persistence.

    I have yet to do NaNoWriMo, but since W1S1, I feel much more confident that I could succeed. Maybe next year...although I said that last year : )

  3. I have tried NaNo several times in the past, but did not succeed at reaching the WC goal. However, I have succeeded most weeks here at W1S1. I'm not much for sprinting so slow and steady works best for me. I did try NaNoPAD this time around (poem a day challenge) and found it a very good fit for me. :) Thanks for the insights, Stephanie!

  4. Great article, Stephanie. Thanks.