Thursday, November 1, 2012

No, No, NaNoWriMo

Happy November 1. I wish you all a happy and productive National Novel Writing Month. Please excuse me if I sit this holiday out.

I often consider why participating in NaNoWriMo is so unappealing to me, when so many writers find it inspiring. And I've decided it's because of the mantra that keeps me writing at least a bit every day:

Anything is better than nothing.

Yes, as a novelist and short story writer, those are the words I live by. If I look at a novel as a 70,000-word monster that needs to be created and cleaned up before it's worth anything, I'd never even start. But if I think of it as a building I can lay one brick at a time (and on really good days, ten bricks), then it seems completely doable.

For me, the very concept of NaNoWriMo makes me feel stress, not motivation. Too much needs to be accomplished in too short a time, so my mantra wouldn't hold up.

So no NaNoWriMo for me, thank you. But that's not to say I'm not working on a novel. In fact, I'm at different stages on two of them: I'm polishing a middle grade historical to ready it for an agent hunt, and I'm doing the revisions my publisher requested for the sequel to Green Light Delivery. I expect to have a very productive November. At my own pace.

And to those of you for whom NaNoWriMo gets your writing engines stoked, I hope it's a fantastic experience and you write up a storm!


  1. You are the ONLY writer I have met who shares my sentiments! I have enough stress trying to hack away at my novel/produce a blog (many thanks btw, much appreciated) and write excoriating letters to the local paper about the council to ry to rush through a novel in a month. Yes, I salute the er...amazing individuals who do it. But (shudder) not me. Or you!!!

  2. Anne, my sentiments exactly! I DID do NaNo one time, 2010 I think, and yeah, I got a novel out of it. A story that had been simmering just below the surface for a long time. But that story has required so much rewriting, rethinking, and reworking that it is still driving me crazy. But never...NEVER..again! Like Carol, I salute those who have the ambition...and do it, but I'll stay sane and write at my own speed!

  3. I agree, Anne. I participated in Nano twice. Once was for a chapter book (I know, not a novel), but I joined in for fun because I was writing it anyway. The second time was a novel that stinks so bad I'm not sure I'll ever re-do it. I'd rather work at my own pace, instead of worrying about word count--but that's just how I work best, I've found.

  4. To each his own, right? There's nothing wrong with that. I find NaNo helps keep me motivated, but if I found that it did nothing but stress me out, I wouldn't participate either. I'm eager to hear how to revisions for your Green Light Delivery sequel go, Anne. HOOT HOOT! :)

  5. I can't do NANO or PiBoIdMo because they are both too stressful for me, too, Anne. I do envy those who can. I like my pace: encouraging enough without being self-destructive. (Otherwise, that'll take me some time to get back on the horse, and that's just good time wasted.)