5 Tips To Help Your NaNoWriMo Friend

Spoiler: You can be your own friend

Sarah Marie
6 min readNov 21, 2021


Photo by Cornelia Steinwender on Unsplash

Somehow, Thanksgiving is this week. I don’t know where this year or honestly last year went and I know I’m not alone in this statement. But somehow we are here.

This not only means that we are firmly planted in the holiday season, but if you are a writer participating in NaNoWriMo, it’s crunch time. I’ve written about NaNoWriMo before and if you’re here, you know the drill so I won’t go into the details of this infamous challenge month for writers.

Let’s get to the point: how do I help the person in my life who is currently undertaking this challenge? P.S. “the person” can be yourself.

1. Realize that they may not want to share their work with you; ask how you can help in other ways

Normally, offering to read their work and provide feedback is a great way to help show support for someone and their challenge. The issue is that NaNoWriMo is often more of a word dump than anything else. We do our best to keep it to our outline and relevant to the story, but at the end of the day, the challenge isn’t to write a publishable story at the end; it’s to write 50,000 words.

The plot won’t be perfect. The details won’t always line up. This will not be their best writing and they will often not want to show it to you.

This does not mean that they do not trust you or value your insight! This just isn’t that type of project and they are simply trying to get more words on the page, not fine-tune the details.

They might be willing to give you a basic outline of their story and let you provide ideas to get another couple thousand words on the page. This could be a solution, but don’t be discouraged if it’s not something they want to try.

Instead, see if you can provide support and inspiration in other ways. Maybe you can provide them with a jamming writing playlist, a comfy blanket for their writing sessions, their favorite comfort food. Maybe you can provide an hour not thinking about NaNoWriMo. Use your knowledge of your friend to do or provide something that would be of comfort to them and ask if that would be helpful.



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Sarah Marie

Author & Freelance Writer | Top Writer in Space | A little bit of everything: Science, books, personal development, fiction, poetry, hobbies, and art