IWSG 8 — Looking back at NaNo

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


Not feeling so weak or insecure after NaNoWriMo 2014.

There are times in a person’s life that they decide to challenge themselves; win or not they have to try. They mutter, challenge accepted. Maybe they do it as Barney did in How I Met Your Mother, or maybe they say it through clenched teeth. After the last few months, I used the clenched teeth method. NaNoWriMo is one of my personal yearly challenges. I do it to learn something new about myself, to test my limits, and to determine my inner strength.

Once upon a time, I was on the outside looking in while writers participated in this worldwide event. When I thought of NaNo and the group of writers all attempting to do the same thing I was in awe. They put personal stuff aside, set goals, and encouraged each other. I knew they built more than stories.

When I finally I had enough of being the outsider, I jumped in expecting to fail. Only real writers won Nano. Real writers wrote poetry, shorts and novels with passion on each page, and words that move their readers, and move themselves.

Was I a real writer?

Some days I’m still not sure, but I won my first year and I won again this year.
The point I’m trying to make is the pendulum has swung back and I feel strong today. I endured until my insecurity faded away. I did things to build myself up like participating in Nano. This year my muse surprised me and made it easier for me to win, but then everything is relative. We know it’s hard to win. If we can do that, then we can do other things too.

A thought to hang on to.

67 responses to “IWSG 8 — Looking back at NaNo

  1. Congrats on your Nano win! Proud of you! I never thought of the challenge as learning more about myself, as a test of my inner strength. But I like that. It’s true there’s more to it than just putting words on paper. Looking at the challenge from a new perspective. Maybe, just maybe I’ll try it again. Thanks for your inspiring post.

  2. Congrats on your Nano win! I’ve never done Nano believe it or not. It always seems to come around when I’m out straight. Your post has inspired me to set some time aside for when it comes around again. Excellent job!

  3. You did amazingly well winning NaNo! Huge congratulations. You deserve to feel on top of the world and to not have any insecurities 🙂

  4. Congratulations Anna!!! Two years in a row is a fantastic accomplishment.

  5. You are a REAL writer….and pssst, you were a real writer even if you never tried NaNo. Great job. Isn’t it great when we get to hold those insecurities at bay?

  6. Congrats on your NaNo win! Doesn’t it feel awesome? I think everyone suffers from that impostor syndrome once in a while.

    Good for you for writing through it. (J.H. Moncrieff)

  7. Congrats on the NaNo win! It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

  8. That’s a positive thought indeed and one to carry over to other things.

  9. Congrats, Anna!! NaNo certainly does stretch us.

  10. Congrats to you, Anna. You make me want to participate!

  11. Congrats on the win Anna!!

  12. It’s snowing on your page! Did you know it’s snowing on your page!?
    Uhm..yes… content too 🙂 Sorry, easily distracted by snow.
    Yes! I’ve found NaNo this year to be amazing in brushing away the insecurities. I CAN DO THIS! Glad it was similarly successful for you 🙂
    Did I mention that it’s snowing on your page?

  13. Wow, you were one of the winners, Anna. Impressive. Well done! I guess you can call yourself a ‘real writer’ now, right? Kudos 🙂

  14. Congratulations on your NaNo win!!! I participated, but did not win the 50,000 words. I did it for the first time last Nov 2013, but did not make the word count either. I did better at Camp NaNo April and July and won those with a lower word count. I just do not write fast enough, at least not yet. A real writer, writes and that is what you do, so you are a real writer. Again Congrats!

    • Some of the things we win in NaNo have very little to do with word count. Like discovering how deep a character can go, etc. All of us are winners if we participated. 🙂

  15. congratulations! and look at the big achievement: not only you won, but you are not feeling “so weak or insecure” ! you go, girl 🙂

  16. That’s a good thought to hang on to. =)
    Congrats on winning NaNo!

  17. That’s a great thought! Congrats on winning NaNo! It’s amazing what one can do with a little determination.

  18. Wahoo…congrats Anna! I love your thought process..stay positive 🙂

  19. Oh wow you won? Good for you! I think that should help validate that you are indeed a writer. Makes sure to encourage yourself in life. I know we sometimes don’t think we are good enough (girls) but you should always be positive and love what you bring to the world.

  20. Good job winning twice! I did Camp NaNoWrMo one year, and it really helped me get over a writing hump. Plus, there’s nothing like finishing a project to make you feel like a real writer and on top of the world. I hope you are celebrating!

  21. Many congratulations to you! I’m still on the outside looking in and I’m not sure that’ll ever change. I have much respect for those who see it through. Well done!!

  22. Good for you, Anna. NaNo is a huge accomplishment. I have two books and three novellas out and sometimes still wonder if I’m a real writer. LOL. Writers just write, I guess.

  23. Good for you. Love reading those success stories!
    Play off the Page

  24. Congratulations on your NaNo win!!!! This post makes me want to try NaNo next year. 😀

  25. I’m at the stage you were before…on the outside looking in.
    Who knows, maybe next year I’ll grow tired of being the outsider, and jump in…?
    Your post gives me a spark of hope/confidence…
    I think my main concern is that I don’t write fast enough. 😦

  26. Congrats on Nano! It truly is a tough challenge and you’re right, if you can do that, you can do it all.

    Best of luck!

  27. Congrats! I love NaNo because it always turns out to be more than just getting a bunch of words down.

  28. Congratulations on the win! NaNo is so much fun. I did it for ten years but didn’t have the time this year. I was sad to miss it, but I still loved seeing everyone else meeting the challenge. 🙂

  29. Congrats on winning this year! NaNo is great motivation. =)

  30. Congrats on winning NaNo. I hope you had fun. Best wishes.

  31. Congrats on your NaNo win! What a great way to look at the process.

  32. Congratulations on your NaNo win, Anna! No small feat, that. You should feel empowered. Winning NaNo once is a huge achievement—four times is breathtaking.

    Although it doesn’t mesh with my process, I’ve done NaNo and think every writer should try it at least once. Win or lose, it teaches us something about ourselves and how we write.

    VR Barkowski

  33. NaNoWriMo literally revolutionized my writing life – turned me from a so-so only half-dedicated writer to a seriously dedicated writer… because I think of that same empowerment you mention. When you know you can accomplish something hard… and under deadline… very empowering. Sorry I’m so late visiting – thanks for visitng my IWSG post earlier in December!

If you're new to writing, ask me anything and if you're experienced, feel free to share what you know. Learning something new in the craft is always welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.