Why I Quit NaNoWriMo (And Why I Won’t Be Doing It Again)

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You heard it here first, folks. I’m officially a NaNoWriMo quitter. A few weeks ago I listed a few reasons that I’d be trying NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and about a week into the journey I started to realize it might not be the platform for me after all.

Turns out I was right. I’m not a fan of NaNoWriMo at all.

Before I get into why I quit and won’t be back, I don’t think NaNoWriMo is all negative. It’s a great reminder to start the writing project you’ve had in mind forever or finish the one you already have started. And it’s certainly a lesson in consistency and dedication. Even though I won’t be participating next year, I know seeing all the NaNo posts will remind me to get back to the keyboard.

Why I Quit

I touched on the main reason I decided to stop NaNoWriMo in my Week 1 Update – I’d rather write a clean 50,000 words slowly than a sloppy 50,000 words in a month. Unless you have writing superpowers rivaled only by the greats, then there’s no way you’re writing a good 1,700 words every day. At a certain point (aka day 2) you’re sweating just trying to hit your word count for the day, never mind rereading what you’ve written every few paragraphs or keeping an eye on your sentence structure and grammar.

For some people pounding out a quick novel and then spending three times as much effort on editing it is the way to go – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – but it’s not my style at all. I’d rather do some light editing as I go and only have to do one major round of editing once the book is done. 

And on a completely different note, November is one of the least convenient months – second only to December – to have to sit down and write nonstop. It’s the start of the busy season at most jobs, the time of year when all the holiday mayhem starts, and when there are SO. MANY. things to do.

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Do You Do NaNoWriMo?

8 thoughts on “Why I Quit NaNoWriMo (And Why I Won’t Be Doing It Again)

  1. Xandra @ thebookblogbattle says:

    I’ve always thought about participating, since I love writing and I feel like I need to force myself to write again, but I agree. I would much rather go at my own pace!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the pretty poems says:

    i made my goal 25 k because 1) never tried writing that much let alone a book in years 2) serious arm injury. im at 20k right now. its all been pantsied but i did have an idea what scenes i wanted to write – everything would flow from there. but now that im in the final stages , trying to wrap up the final act, my editor in me screams to stop, review, assess what the characters are doing. i feel like any one (author tube) who is reaching the goal had a detailed outline/ are plotters. it makes me feel connected to my inner child, when i wrote stories without thinking too hard

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Stubbs says:

      I’m somewhere in the middle of making it up as I go and planning it all out (even when I do plan my story usually takes a turn I didn’t see coming), but I totally agree with you – anyone hitting the 50k or more mark has a meticulous outline that isn’t bending! Plus a lot of time! I think 25k is much more realistic. Good luck!


  3. Nora Sacrum says:

    Yes, I totally get it. To each, their own. I’m doing DENOWRIMO because I don’t celebrate Christmas and I get a full week off – Woop! But I totally agree about the editing thing. I loathe the idea of going all the way back and editing but it’s inevitable really. I get the concept of just getting the novel done and on paper because sometimes the editing can slow down the whole creative process. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Merry Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Stubbs says:

      Weirdly enough, I think editing is my favorite part. Most of the work is done – the house is put together, all that’s left to do is decorate! Totally unpopular opinion though, I know most people dread the editing stage!


  4. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Really relate to this- it’s why I never do Nano properly. I saw some people a few years back just treating it like camp nano, where you basically set yourself a target and went with that instead. And I can also understand what you’re saying (as a compulsive editor too). And yeah I can especially understand about november often not being a good month to do this. Anyway, hope you don’t mind my rambling response! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Stubbs says:

      I don’t mind at all! 😄 I tried lowering my goal but it’s seriously just not feasible! I think it definitely helps motivate but you can’t put a time limit on art – or that’s what I say to make myself feel better anyways 😂


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