Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm Saying No to NaNoWriMo

It’s November. If you’re a writer, especially a writer who’s just starting out, you know what that means. It’s National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to encourage writers to pen the rough draft of a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month, 11:59pm on November 30th to be exact.

There are no monetary prizes for participating in NaNoWriMo. Writers taking part in the event can earn a variety of badges, aimed at both participation and actual writing. One badge, for example, is earned when the writer’s novel reaches five thousand words. Since this is an online event, the badges are awarded online as well.

Not everyone who signs up to participate will actually reach the goal of completing the novel, but that’s not a bad thing. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that NaNoWriMo is more about inspiring and motivating writers to get that first draft going. It’s also about providing authors a chance to network and meet their peers and perhaps promote their work. It’s about encouraging creativity and celebrating writing.

Every year, I’m inevitably asked the question and faced with the decision of whether or not I’m going to join in the fun. Every year, my answer is the same, and this year is no exception. No, I will not be participating.
I’m not going to deny that NaNoWriMo not only sounds fun, but it’s got a great set of objectives. Unfortunately, it’s not for me. 

Trying to crank out that rough draft in thirty days doesn’t work with my schedule. Writing every single day isn’t a luxury this busy working mom has, despite how much I’d love to be able to do so. Lately, my writing time is confined to the weekends where I usually spend a good chunk of both Saturday and Sunday working on my latest novel. It’s not an ideal approach, but it’s productive. I finished two full chapters this weekend and did the same last weekend and the weekend before. Given the length of my chapters, it’s’ an accomplishment I’m proud of.

To those of you who are participating, good luck and have a great time. I’ll be rooting for you to reach that goal. As for me, NaNoWriMo is a no-go. I guess you could say it’s a NaNoWriNo!

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