Why I’m skipping #Nanowrimo… Again.

Every November on social media, it feels like everyone is writing a novel. Or talking about writing a novel. Or encouraging other people to write a novel. It’s #Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), where using the accountability and support from the community, writers everywhere knock out 50,000 words on a novel.

On the surface, it sounds very tempting. I’ve never written 50,000 words in 30 days in any month ever, and I wish I could. So why not try it?

Here are a few of the problems that keep me from signing up and plunging into the word fest:

  • 50,000 words is not a full length novel in the genres I write in.

So, I spend the month going crazy and writing 50,000 words. Then what? Then I have to spend another month writing the rest (if I’m not a total basket case at the end of November).

  • November is a crazy month with a holiday in the 3rd week.

November always sneaks up on me and it’s November 5 before I even remember that it’s no longer October. Also, trying to knock out 50,000 words when you have 50,000 relatives visiting for Thanksgiving is a recipe for disaster. November is a super busy month, and it leads into December–an even busier month.

  • The timing is all wrong.

If I’m revising, not creating a first draft, then #Nanowrimo makes no sense at all.

One thing I try to do every year is use the momentum of everyone else’s crazy word count to push myself harder. In the past two weeks, I’ve written 7,000 words on a new manuscript, and I hope to write even more this month. It won’t add up to 50,000 by the end of the month, but it will be progress. And, as it’s been pointed out many times by many writers, you can’t edit a blank page!

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