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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Anyone who has been writing for a while knows about NaNoWriMo. It means National Novel Writing Month, which is in November. The point of NaNoWriMo is to get people to write a Novel in the month of November, which is about 50,000 words. Dividing this up into 30 days, that means writing about 1,700 words per day. 

This is a month of suffering for writers who participate because of the sheer time and self-discipline it requires, but the results are worth it. At the end of November, you get to say that you wrote a novel.

Despite having known about this for years, I had not participated in it until last year. My senior English teacher told us to try to do NaNoWriMo (in May, but with the same rules) as our final project. I was excited to try something I had heard so much about.

The first day came, and I started off. I wrote about 2000 words that day.

The second day, I wrote 1800 words.

The third day, I wrote 1500 words.

The fourth day, I wrote 200 words. I figured I would make up for it the next day.

If you are good at detecting trends, I did not make up for it the next day. In fact, I never made up for it for any other day.

This wasn’t my first time getting burnout. This can cause you to lose interest in your story, you run out of ideas and need to come up with a scene on the fly that feels flimsy at best. The exciting parts of your story start to feel mundane. Eventually you get tired of sitting at a keyboard everyday and just typing and typing over and over and trying to put your plot into words, but something was different. I wasn’t just tired of writing.

See, the thing about writing a massive amount of words in such a short amount of time is that you can’t look back. You cannot go back and fix your spelling mistakes, much less your grammatical mistakes. Plowing through without care for your mistakes sounds easy, but think, would you want to leave the word “have” spelled like “haev” while you keep going? Or would you rather spend the five seconds it takes to fix it and not have a mistake at all? It’s an alluring trap to think it is a quick easy fix, but those five second fixes add up fast, and soon you find yourself sitting at your computer an hour longer than you had planned.

And don’t even get me started on the quality of your writing. You just have to accept that everything that comes from your fingertips will be trash. You will look back on it and think “what the hell was I thinking?” There are no studies or scientific facts for what I’m about to say, but I believe this to be true:

Writing is infinitely easier when you are bad at it.

I remember being a middle schooler when I wrote my first ever fanfiction (yes it was on Wattpad). I wrote 20 pages in half an hour, I was unstoppable, I could sit there all night and put my entire story onto the pages without a single break.

Cut to me now, and I take 10 minutes to write a single sentence. Why? Why was it so much easier to write back then?

It took me a while to realize that it was because I had no care for how awful my writing was. I knew nothing about writing a good story, so everything I wrote felt right. It’s not even about perfectionism, it’s just that it is hard to force yourself to be bad when you know you could do so much better.

And all this together just about explains why NaNoWriMo is so hard. Those that are more likely to do it are usually better writers, and those writers are more likely to have a harder time writing everyday. There are so many things that can stop you like burnout, not having enough time to do it, and losing interest in your story over time. These setbacks all mean one thing: you’ll feel amazing when you do NaNoWriMo anyway.

Kate Soukup is a freshman Communication major at Texas A&M College Station. She enjoys reading, watching tv and trying new makeup styles.