To NaNo or Not To NaNo?

Hello reader!  Happy November!




For those of you who aren’t already aware, NaNoWriMo is a writing marathon that takes place from November first to November thirtieth.  If you want to find out more about it, I did a post describing it, and you can also check out the NaNoWriMo website for extra information.

Anyway, so many people participate in NaNoWriMo that it feels like a writing Christmas or something.  A lot of my writing friends are participating as well.  And as much as I really wanted to join them this year, I decided that NaNo doesn’t help me get the best out of my writing.

Yes, it does motivate me – and motivation is something I need a lot of these days – but it hurts me, too.  I’m an overwriter when I get rushed, so my writing gets way too lengthy.  (As you may have been able to tell from my blog posts.)  Plus, NaNo doesn’t fit my writing schedule.  It only motivates me for a month.  Then, for the other months, I sit around like, “Oh, I’ll pick it up next November.”

This kind of action won’t get someone who wants to get their book published very far into the process.  NaNoWriMo isn’t a professional road to take.  It requires you to be scattered and improvise your work, and when I did NaNoWriMo, I ended up rewriting the “novel” I’d written.  Novel writing should be a creative but organized process, and to me NaNoWriMo made it feel like a race to the end.

So I made the decision not to do NaNoWriMo this year.

Don’t get me wrong, NaNo works for some people.  I think, however, that a writer needs to be able to tell when something doesn’t fit their style.  If they write tons of crap when under pressure, then NaNoWriMo will only push that crap out of them even faster (figuratively).

Another big problem with NaNoWriMo is outlining.  Now, I think that every writer, even if they think they’re a “pantser,” should outline before diving into their manuscript.  It’s a major and crucial step to a successful outcome.  But NaNoWriMo doesn’t really enforce that.  They say “feel free to outline or just jump right in, whichever you like.”  I think everyone should start their manuscript with at least, the slightest idea as to what they’re starting.  Or else, I promise, your story will not be publishable without a TON of revision and probably a rewrite.

Now, there are different kinds of outlines suitable for different kinds of writers, and I’ll cover that in a different post.  But if you really want NaNoWriMo to take you somewhere in your career, then you’re gonna need an outline.

Even if you decide that NaNo doesn’t work for you, you should still use their site as a resource. It’s a great source of inspiration and varying opinions, as well as place to find potential beta readers and critique partners.

If you’re definitely participating in NaNo this year even though you think it might harm your writing, here’s a suggestion for you: narrow the international goal of 50,000 words into something that won’t overwhelm you and your writing.

I wanted to post this today not to tell you what to do, but to tell you what I’m doing and why I’m doing it so you can make your own decision.  I honestly really wanted to do NaNo this year, but I think my choice is a good one.

On that note, I hope you somehow found this helpful.  If you liked this post, I’ll be posting more bookish and writerly Sundays, and my past posts can be found here.  If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, be sure to drop it below or contact me and I’ll get back to you.

See you next time! ❤







Have a question or idea? Comment here and I'll get back to you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s