Why I Am Not Doing NaNoWriMo


It is impossible to be a regular reader of book and writing blogs and not hear about NaNoWriMo in November. My blog feeds have been filled with regular updates and word counts, so I feel like I have to give my reasons for not participating in this national event.

As I have talked about before I have a story idea brewing. I say brewing because it is still in the planning stages. Lots of planning going on here. And questions. Since there is history and time travel involved, two topics I have never really tackled before, I don’t want to rush through the writing and planning process just to get it done in a month. If I did that from where I stand now with my novel it would be gibberish and I would end up throwing most of it out anyway. This way I can write and throw things out at my own pace.

I have always been a page count kind of person as compared to a word count one. I also like to work on individual sections, scenes, and paragraphs, and make sure they are the way that I want them before moving on with writing. This doesn’t seem conducive to bulk writing, which would result (for me at least) in stress. I am working on cutting down stress and worry in my life right now -I am an excellent worrier, and although I work well with deadlines, just the thought of having a daily word count deadline with the way my life has been right now, and where my story is, makes me break out in a sweat. I feel the same way about reading. Writing never stresses me out. Even when I was putting together final portfolios for classes in college the physical writing process is very calming for me, which is probably why I like it so much. Even when I am writing academic papers (although that is more stressful than stories), once I figure out what I want to say, saying it is never that bad for me. I don’t want that to change – I don’t want writing to be stressful. That would take the fun out of it.

I have been thinking about and working on my story on my own time. There is the potential of an anti-hero which would make things exciting, and I still need to do some research, and make sure I don’t write myself into some sort of paradox with the time travel – it’s bound to happen. I am hoping at some point this weekend to sit down and work on some scenes, at least maybe get a beginning going.

I am not morally opposed to NaNoWriMo or anything – I don’t want people thinking that. I think it’s a really cool idea and a good way to get writing. I hadn’t heard about it until high school, and by that time my Novembers were filled with a mad rush of pre-vacation work, and trying to make it to Thanksgiving alive. Not a very conducive environment for creativity. NaNoWriMo is something that I would be interested in doing at some point in my life (I do consider myself to be a writer after all). Maybe even more than once. So some time in the future, when my life is more put together than it is at the moment (ie – not looking for a job), and I have a story idea that I have planned adequately in advance, I might make the leap and sign up for NaNoWriMo. In the meantime, happy writing!


3 thoughts on “Why I Am Not Doing NaNoWriMo

  1. Good points! NaNoWriMo is a great collective writing exercise, and it’s a good way to finally write that book you’ve always said you would, but sometimes it’s better to be mentally prepared and invested in the story you want to tell. Otherwise, revision just gets that much harder!

  2. Pingback: Literary Confessions: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit | goodbookscents

  3. Pingback: Story Update – Nice Notebooks and “Historical Fantasy” | goodbookscents

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