Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWrimo? Sorry... not for me

Yesterday, the writing world came to a lull with the start of NaNoWriMo on November 1st. Blogs across the world experienced a drop in their readership. Several writers’ and authors’ blogs have grown quiet with no new posts.

What is NanoWriMo?

Well, it’s National Novel Writing Month. It's a . . . um . . . sort of writing challenge. The basic gist is to write 50,000 words in one month - the equivalent of writing a novella.

No preparation is required. A writer sits his/her butt down in the chair and starts typing as they throw plot outlines, editing, and revising out the window. Writers sign up under their real names (or whatnot) and people can check in on their progress. There are no actual prizes except the knowledge of pushing oneself into focusing and completing the story. A writer will come to realize their limits and overall desire (or not) for the task.

Hm? No, I have never participated in NaNoWriMo. I find it too limiting. I checked the word count for everything I had written in the past four months. I came up with the estimate of 186,000 words - an average of 46,500 words a month. This includes editing and revisions.

So, yeah, I’m short 3500 words, or a whole chapter. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I maintained my writing to 46,500 words for four months straight. I believe writing for the long haul is as good as an accomplishment as is writing 50,000 in one spurt during one month.

I’m happy with my writing limits. I’m happy with my overall desire for the task. Being one chapter short just means that it was 3500 unnecessary words to the plot of my writing life.


  1. Interesting... I wondered how Miranda at The Times of Miranda came up with the idea of writing 2000 words per day for the 30 days of November and now I know! Oh well, I'll have to stick with writing my blog. :-} Lizzy

  2. I have never participated in NaNoBloMe month or whatever it is. Nothing against anyone who likes to give themselves a goal, but I find putting added pressure on myself tends to limit me rather than free me to produce something better than usual.

  3. Is being one chapter short similar to being one fry short of a Happy Meal?

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! See you in December!

  4. Interesting post. Yes, I am doing NaNo this year. What's funny though is, I'm not really paying attention to the word count (at least I didn't yesterday). When I sat down to write, I just kept going until I finished the chapter. Of course, since I haven't been writing regularly ever, I'm hoping this month will get me into the habit of writing all the time. Then I'll be just like you! :)

  5. Good luck with the challenge Michelle, if anyone is up for it, you certainly are.,)

  6. Lizzy: It's a pretty big challenge. I admire the focus people put into it, but I hate to force myself like that.

    My Lighter Gray Friend: I'm in complete agreement. I hate limiting myself, and I would feel more pressured to write toward these goals than produce anything of real susbtance.

    CatLadyLarew: I suppose, or it could be one cheese slice absent from a Big Mac. (Of course - I don't eat fast food so what would I know. LOL!)

    Nope. No Nanowrimo for me. I have too much editing to do on a finished wip.

    Eric: Don't get me wrong. I find it admirable for people to participate in Nanowrimo to sharpen their writing skills and reach goals.

    Yet for me, when it comes to writing, I've never had that problem. I think of it as the story, "The tortoise and the hare." So long as you reach that goal, no matter how long it takes, that's what's important. Good Luck Nano writer!

    Protege: I'm not doing it this year. I have too many other goals to complete. :-)

  7. Wow, I'm impressed by your output. I'm not doing NaNo myself because I just can't write that fast. It doesn't happen. (Six kids might contribute to that.) I've written about 65k in the past 7.5 months and that's about a record for me.

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  9. Angie: It took me years to get to the writing speed I'm at today. It took me 3 years to write my first story.

    (Spam comments are not welcome here. I will delete them.)

  10. You've definitely got it covered by writing almost that much every month. LOL You've got the right idea!

  11. Mary: I try to keep pace. I'm not a superwoman where I don't slack off now and then. But I always bounce back. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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