NaNoWriMo: 2021 Plans

Seven days into the month, with my eyes still on my writing goal.

Anna Burgess Yang
3 min readNov 8, 2021


Pop art image of a typewriter
Image created via Midjourney

Like many writers, I have often thought about participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Writers set ambitious goals of cranking out 50,000 words in the month of November. Not necessarily good words, but the point is to get everything down on paper; polish later.

My last serious attempt was probably Camp NaNo in 2018, a July version of its November counterpart. Less pressure, with the only goal being to stick to a writing goal. I doubt I met my goal that year. My youngest child would have been about 11 months old at the time, and somehow between all of the demands of work and parenting, writing seemed to fall by the wayside.

That was then. This is 2021.

My kids are older. I’ve changed careers, now spending my days in a creative world, surrounded by writers. I’ve taken to waking up very early, savoring that quiet morning time. I have a community of writers that I’ve come to rely upon for support. My thoughts turned again to NaNoWriMo.

Last year — without meaning to — I wrote an insane number of words in the month of November. I was tired of a job I’d been at for 15 years and ready to try something new. I started freelance writing blog posts with a company that allowed me to republish the work into my own portfolio.

I raced through writing assignments, desperate to build up a volume of work that I could use in applying for jobs as a content marketer. I was still working full time, had three kids at home due to the pandemic, and yet woke up early and stayed up late writing. I kept a log of every assignment I turned in.

In November of 2020, I wrote 48,500 words — just a hair shy of the NaNoWriMo goal.

No, it wasn’t a novel. But the practices I needed were the same: fitting the time into the day, getting words onto the screen without much regard for the final product.

While that work was enough to land me a job at a marketing agency, I now look back at some of the posts and cringe. I know better and can do better. The portfolio isn’t reflective of the writer I am today — at least not for that style of writing.



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •