NaNoWriMo No More

    It’s officially over, and I’ve never been more grateful to stop writing. I’m glad that I participated and really glad I finished. You’re sensing a but aren’t you? Here it is: I won’t be repeating NaNo again. It’s obviously wildly successful and works for a lot of people, but I’m not one of them.
    First off, November has to be the second worst month to do this (December being the first). More than enough stress and anxiety to go around without adding the insanity of NaNo. I neglected things I had no business neglecting. My father – who has been ill – needed my butt with him not pouring insane hours into the crazy pursuit of 50,000 words in 30 days.
     Secondly, I have worked hard on my craft and found myself throwing everything I’ve learned out the window just to get something, anything on the page. For someone who writes tightly plotted books, the hurry up format was a complete disaster. (As is the resulting manuscript) I broke rules and NOT in a good way and worried about the bad habits I might be developing during that month. The anxiety and stress of that alone made it not worth it.
     I still believe in this concept. A lot of people benefit from it and that’s a great thing. My writer’s group has done our own version of this before. We set our own parameters (and never do it in the fall around holidays) so that it works best for us. We are planning our own version of it in the spring not to write a novel in a month but to edit one. For those who do this faithfully every year, you have my profound respect. It is definitely a formidable undertaking. I’m proud of the accomplishment, but I can live with having only officially participated once.
What about you? Do you NaNo every year?


Filed under Writing

10 responses to “NaNoWriMo No More

  1. I have NaNo’d before and accomplished it, but I like you thought November was the 2nd worst month to pick. Seriously do these people not celebrate Thanksgiving? I have 2 manuscripts to get edited to I didn’t do it this year and prob won’t next year. But I’m always tempted.

    • dawnall

      The timing is the worst part for me. I’m sorry, November? Horrible month for something like this.

      • Don’t forget that people all over the world participate, and most of them don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. And there are a lot of people like me, who just don’t bother with holidays.

    • dawnall

      True, but I believe the guy who started it is American. So, he should have seen it coming. However, you’re right. Not everyone celebrates the holidays. I’m glad it works from some. I’m equally glad the rest of us can take the idea and apply in months that are better for us. 🙂 It’s a win-win.

  2. I tried NaNo once but, like you, it’s not for me. I have a critique partner who does it every year and is wildly successful. But my writing doesn’t work that way. My regional group also does our own version of it–in the spring and with a smaller word count. This is more to my liking.

  3. This was my sixth year and third win. Oddly, my experience with writing a tightly plotted novel is the opposite of yours. NaNo turns out to be a very efficient way for me to get the book written without dragging it out over months. 74k in 27 days turned out to be far easier than I’d anticipated, but I couldn’t have done it without a lot of advance planning. And, of course, it will take a lot of work to whip it into publishable shape.

    But i completely understand that NaNo isn’t for everyone, especially for someone who has obligations that require their time and energy.

    • dawnall

      I love that it’s available for people that it works for. I can see how beneficial it would be. Keep on hitting that each year. I’ll be cheerleading you on!!

  4. NaNo made my brain hurt. I need chocolate.

    Seriously though. I reached the 50,000 word count goal, but I still need another 15-20,000 to finish the manuscript. I like having something I can edit and believe me, this piece will need a lot of editing. 🙂

  5. dawnall

    “Chocolate, come to daddy,” as Mayo would say. I’m glad I have a skeleton to work from but like you mine is incomplete and needs massive editing.

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