Fiction, Fun Fridays, Humor, Novel, Writing

NO to NaNoWriMo

NoSignI do feel left out of the rising excitement for the start of NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) but I’ll have to pass. I confess, I’ve never tried it, and maybe I’m missing out on the true benefit, but I think the intent is to encourage you to write every day, without editing.

First, I don’t need encouragement to write every day. I need encouragement to step away from this keyboard and clean my house.

Second, if your goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, that’s 1,666 words per day. Ignoring the fact that some might say the 666 in there means this is a diabolical plot, why does that mean I can’t edit? I write my allotted words and then stay up well past my bedtime to edit. I mean, how could I sleep knowing I might have a misplaced modifier, or pronoun confusion, or passive phrasing?

Seriously, you can do that?!

I think maybe I’m too competitive for NaNo. I’d see your meters rise and I’d be obsessed with making mine rise faster. You can write 50,000? Then, I’d have to shoot for 60,000. And if you made your goal and I didn’t … well, I’d just have to Tweet nasty things about you. So, it’s just better for all that I sit this one out.

Seriously, really, for those of you participating, may your words flow like the Mississippi.


32 thoughts on “NO to NaNoWriMo”

  1. With my book almost ready to query (I’ve been saying that for two years now), I can’t take a break from it. However, I don’t think I would be compatible with Nano for the reasons you mentioned.

    It also comes at a bad month with holidays and such. Since I write more than I clean, and since Thanksgiving is always at my house with overnight visitors and the works, I take the whole month of November catching up on my housework. I’ve already started cleaning.


    1. Yes, now that I have a query letter (do I?) I have to start that process. Plus the new book I’m working on.

      And I agree about the timing. I’ll bet NaNo was started by a man who didn’t have the responsibility of preparing for the holidays.


  2. In some strange way, your post made me think… wait, I can finish the final edits on my novel AND do NaNo. Just write really really fast, no expectations, total stream of consciousness. hmmm.

    I might not know if I have a misplaced modifier if I write 10 words a day. 😉

    Tricia – I’m glad I’m not the only one who has been “ready to query” for 2 years. In fact, I did query in 2007, fortunately only 3 agents. Now I’m really ready, well almost.


    1. Cathryn,

      I actually sent out four total queries since I’d announced my novel completion. It’s now or never, I’d declare. Then I’d chicken out and send one.


    2. Are you doing NaNo, Cathryn?

      The real reason I won’t do NaNo is that I’m terrified what might come out if I did stream of consciousness writing!


      1. No, I was not doing it. Never considered doing it. Absolutely not. Then I read your post, and some twisted little thought wormed into my brain. Now I’m signed up, have a title and a MC!

        Should make for an interesting month, but I haven’t been sleeping much, so I might as well be “productive”. 😉


  3. I can definitely see both sides to the NaNo decision! I’m going to give it a go this year and see what happens! It will be refreshing (I think…) to turn off my editor and see where a new story takes me, especially after so much time spent laboring on my current project. It won’t be perfect, I’m positive, but I am looking forward to creating another editable project to stick in the queue.

    Don’t feel left out! =) You’re starting a new novel, too, and that is plenty exciting!


    1. Yes, I will be writing a good bit in November anyway, but then I write a good bit every month … even with my inner editor screaming at me.

      Have a great time, maybe this will become your greatest book ever.


  4. No NaNo for me but I am doing the PAD Challenge – poem a day with Robert Brewer – then pull 10-12 out for a possible small book. Can’t imagine writing 50,000 words – even in a year – hope all who do find some joy in this midst of the flurry.


    1. Seriously, I think it would just frustrate me. I think I’d miss what I like best about writing, which is to have the story unfold before me with the little twists and turns my characters throw in. I’m not sure that would happen if I wrote so fast. I think I might end up with 50,000 words of a story I didn’t feel anything for and then there would be no way I’d want to spend time editing it.

      I wonder what the statistics are for novels written during NaNo … I mean what percentage of them are actually edited, polished, and published?

      I think NaNo appeals to a certain kind of writer, and maybe writers who write in certain genres. It’s just not for me.


      1. Here’s one data point for your stats, Linda. Zero. I participated in NaNoWriMo last year, and the product wasn’t worth editing. Those 50,000+ words formed more of an awful anthology than a single novel. Although, I knew beforehand that I couldn’t write a decent novel in that amount of time. To make sure I wasn’t wasting effort, I attempted a prequel to RITN instead of using a virgin idea. The scenes that I wrote, however poorly, might add depth to RITN, because they answer many of my personal Why?’s.

        I think you might be right about the genre mattering, by the way. All the NaNoWriMo winners that I personally know wrote speculative fiction. A problem with writing spec fic is the story can be lost amongst world building and research. During NaNoWriMo, if research isn’t already complete, then most of it must wait until December’s editing. There isn’t time to focus on anything but the story. The cool part is that sometimes the rush to develop the story puts the WB in perspective. One realizes what is and isn’t needed.


        1. Ann, I’m sorry to hear of your experience. That was my biggest fear. I think it would be quite depressing to write all that for nothing. I’d rather work slower and end up with something viable. But to each his own. We just have to find what works for us and do it.


Do you have a comment?

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

You are commenting using your 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.