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?

NaNoWriMo – Week 1

My first week of NaNoWriMo is officially over! Technically it’s only been 4 days, since the challenge started on the Thursday, but that hasn’t stopped me from getting behind.

NaNo Week 1

As you can see, I’m about 2,000 words short of where I should be today. I’m still really happy with my progress! I decided to do NaNoWriMo to get myself back on track with my WIP (stay tuned for an official title reveal in the next month or so!) and that’s definitely happened. I’d put Blooming Grove and all the people in it out of my mind while I took a few graduate classes, and now that I’m writing again I can’t stop thinking about the story and where I want it to go. I’m also writing at a much faster pace than I did with The Rancher’s Runaway Bride, so that’s a win in my opinion too.

I’ve discovered in the last four days that the trick to NaNoWriMo is spitting out as many words as you can and worrying about the editing later. That’s not my writing style at all and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m not hitting my word count goal. I like to write a really polished first draft that only needs 1 round of legit editing and then a quick read through in printed form for typos. To write what I’d call 1,700 good words it can take me anywhere from 2-4 hours (sometimes more if I’m super distracted), and a lot of times that’s not feasible for me.

I’m going to keep chugging along! I’m so excited to have the ball rolling again on my second book! Eek!

Are you doing NaNowrimo? How far along are you?


5 Reasons I’m Participating in NaNoWriMo for the First Time

With just over a week left in October, the annual NaNoWriMo craze has begun – and this year I’m joining it! If you’re one of the few people who have never heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it’s a 30 day writing spree that starts November 1st and ends on November 30th. To ‘win’ you have to write 50,000 words, or around 1,666 words a day.

So why am I participating in NaNoWriMo?

1. I’m on a time crunch

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My first book, The Rancher’s Runaway Bride, was written at a slow and steady pace while I went to school full time and worked full time. The sequel needs to be written at a much faster pace and November is conveniently the easiest month for me to sit down and put my nose to the keyboard.

2. It makes me accountable

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Let’s be honest, there are days when you know you should be typing away at your computer but Netflix sucks you in. We’ve all been there, and NaNoWriMo is going to (hopefully) keep me from going there for a solid month. If I have a set number of words to reach in a set number of time I’ll be able to tell when I’m falling behind and need to put the remote down.

3. The community is amazing

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My first book was written in secret, so naturally I’ve decided to blog about the writing process for the second. Soooooo many people participate in NaNoWriMo and the atmosphere is amazing. Being a part of a group of people going through the same thing as you is inspiring a motivating, making it that much more likely you’ll actually finish your 50,000 words.

4. I’m competitive

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This goes hand in hand with reason #2. I’m a super competitive person, so if I can find a way to put pressure on my word count and make it a challenge I’ll push myself that much harder.

5. It’s fun!

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The last and most important reason! NaNoWriMo is just plain fun. I’ve always been jealous of those who participated, and now I’m finally going to do it!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?