NaNoWriMo, Writing Process

My love-hate relationship with NaNoWriMo

November is just around the corner, signaling the start of the holiday season and the rekindling of my volatile relationship with NaNoWriMo.  I loathe NaNoWriMo, it is against so many of my core principles as writer and as a regular person, but yet for the fourth year I have gone crawling back to sign up.  It’s like a drug addiction; I just can’t shake the habit.

Last year, I literally quit halfway through the month.  I am not sure why I didn’t continue, the idea was solid.  I was working on Dissonance.  I had a lot if ideas and decided I didn’t want to be rushed.  I did not want to compromise my writing to get the daily word count.  I realize I could have continued, got it written and fix all the errors during the editing process,  but I would rather not have to double my work.

There was a secondary and more pressing reason I quit last year.  It was personal and had nothing to do with writing.  I am a firm believer in living life and not letting it pass me by.  I realized halfway through the month that I was putting everything in my life on hold for the month.  I had made a vow to myself I was not putting life on hold earlier in the year.  I decided finishing a novel in a month wasn’t worth the trade-off.

I said last year I was done with NaNoWriMo, but yet here I am with a novel idea for November.  There are two things I love about NaNoWriMo.  The first being it allows me the excuse to be creative and write for hours if I wanted.  The second is I have met some interesting writers through the forum posts.  Those are probably the only reasons I keep finding myself crawling back to the abusive relationship.

This year I believe will be a little different, I am finished writing Reverie and I am actually plotting and outlining for the first year.  I am still not expecting to finish and my goal is not 50,000 words.  I am a bit of a rebel,  but my goal for the month is to get a solid start to a new book.


9 thoughts on “My love-hate relationship with NaNoWriMo”

  1. I thought I might be one of those who was suffering from some fear of writing under the pressure NaNoWritMo dishes out. Although I believe a writer should write every day, and if on a project, should try to make that writing count towards the completion of the project, the underlying pressure of a ‘subtle competition’ seems anti-productive to me. NaNoWritMo does use this competitive way to force writing. My opinion is that writing is a delicate balance between persistence and inspiration. The pressure NaNoWritMo is using upsets that balance so that any work that is done isn’t really of the utmost quality. I think I’ll stay away from NaNoWritMo.


    1. I know what you mean. That is one of the reasons I quit every year! My creativity gets stifled. I am not a write everyday kind of person, I am closer to a write once a week or so. I really only enjoy writing when I actually have something to write about and the words flow freely without being forced.


  2. Thank you Amanda. This is the first article I have read this year about this nanowritmo. It inspires me to know that you have atleast tried for 4 years to do this. I am not a competitive person. But I do like a motivating force to write, so long as its positive, and also a challenge. I think I will enter this thing, because I have known about it and always wanted to try. And having just finally published my novel, I have alot of fresh energy to write now (which was formerly tied up in my sadness over not having published my old novel). Anyway, thanks. I am gonna go to the website and see about entering. I also like what you said about making new friendships there, with other writers.


    1. Congrats on publishing your book! This will be the first year I won’t be working on my book during NaNoWriMo. I never care about the word count, I am a rebel that way. Good luck on your new project!


  3. I’m with Glynis Jolly. I can’t think a worse process, for me, but every writer is different. I write to escape my daily stresses, not to heap more on my plate. No thanks to NaNaWriMo, but I wound never tell another to stay away. Who knows? Some may thrive there, just not me.


    1. I have admit complete and utter failure on NaNoWriMo this year. Quit aftwr day one, with less than 500 words in and went back to writing my series. Think this year I finally kicked the habit. 🙂


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