To NaNo or Not To NaNo: That Is The Question


November is coming. For some people, that means Thanksgiving and holiday shopping (if you’re a non-procrastinator, which I definitely am not.) For writers, it means something else….

It means: National Novel Writing Month!

If you’re unfamiliar with it, in short, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is when writers around the globe hunker down and attempt to bang out the first draft of a novel in one month. Many succeed. Many do not.

And me? I’ve never attempted it. Mostly because I’ve never managed to finish a first draft in under six months–much less one. And also because of this thing called time–I never have enough of it.

But I’ve been toying with the idea of going for it this November. I am still undecided. Below, my pros and cons list:

Reasons to NaNo:

1. November is less busy than October Writing output-wise, I’m having a terrible month. I went on vacation, celebrated my birthday, attended some weddings, and overall had an awesome time, but I got SO LITTLE writing done, it’s sad. But after this coming weekend, I actually have NO PLANS until Thanksgiving, which is kind of unheard of. So why not plan to write?

2. I have Shiny New Ideas that are just itching to get written  Sooooo many of them.

3. It would be such a good exercise for me  I am a terrible first drafter. I always, always edit as I go, which is why writing takes me so long. Maybe, just maybe, NaNo would be enough to silence my own self-editor and actually do this.

4. It’s such a big time to be part of the writing community  I social media as much as I have time for, for the most part, but I know I could always be doing more. The online writing community is so robust, and I often feel like I’m not in it enough. NaNoWriMo is when this community is out in force, cheering one another on. I’d love to be a part of that.

Reasons not to Nano:

1. November is still busy Thanksgiving weekend WILL throw me off track. My sisters, who live across the country, come home; I see cousins I don’t get to see all the time; there is eating and drinking to be done, board games to be played. And quality time with friends and family is one of the only things I will not sacrifice for my writing.

2. I haven’t finished my current WIP. I’m mid-climax, with some of the conclusion already written. I’d vowed to finish this draft by the end of summer. Then September. Now October. I need to finish it before I start something else, otherwise it’s going to languish. Also, I want to get it out to a CP partner sooner rather than later.

3. I have done no prep  I’m seeing lots of articles about people who’ve spent the entire month of October prepping for NaNoWriMo by outlining and planning and scheduling their writing time. I’ve done none of this.

4. My health. I’ve written before about my Repetitive Strain Injury. It hasn’t come back–yet. That’s because I’ve been pretty good at taking care of myself (doing yoga, getting regular massages, etc.) But this past month, I’ve been less good at it. Too busy. The last thing I want is to get so out of the habit of taking care of myself physically that my pain returns.

So. Decisions, decisions. I’m going to see how this week goes–can I finish my current WIP, outline a new idea, and figure out when I have time to write before the start of November? Time shall tell.

Also, if you’ve done/are doing NaNo, suggestions and opinions welcome!

Image found here

8 thoughts on “To NaNo or Not To NaNo: That Is The Question

  1. I used to get really bad repetitive strain I had to change my job because it was getting to bad! I hope yours stays manageable! I’m planning on doing NaNo for the first time this year and I’m really excited to start 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did NaNo for the first time last year and had so much fun. Also, it forced me to stop editing as I go and just punch out words. I didn’t make the 50,000 word count, but I was happy with what I did get done.
    It was good fun though 😊


  3. I always think about doing it but November is just too busy for me. I am thinking of making March my own personal writing month next year. Short stories instead of a novel and using the time until then to do some prep work. (I am not so much into the whole social media thing so I won’t miss the support, I think/hope.) You could always give it a start and see how it goes. You are sure to learn something even if you end up stopping at Thanksgiving.


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