Why I Broke Up with NaNoWriMo

It’s election day, so let me say this…if you haven’t voted yet, what are you waiting for? Exercise your right to vote and get out there, then come back and read this compelling blog post!

Welcome back! Now, I know the title of this post is scary for some. If you’ve already started nanowrimo this year and you’re feeling good about how far you’ve come, you’re wondering why anyone would stop, right? And if you got off to a bad start yesterday you may be thinking about joining me. Either way…the answer is simple. Writing just to write is not my thing this year.

Last year I had a fabulous idea for a novel and I kicked nanowrimo in the ass! I finished early, loved what I wrote and couldn’t wait to get to the editing process that followed. I got up early every day, worked late into the night and even had a group of teens read the draft when I was finished. How’s that for enthusiasm?

But this year, I tried and tried to come up with something that excited me the way that story did. Sure, I came up with a few that sounded quite good, but is that good enough? Is that enough to work every day, hours and hours, on something that is just “quite good?” Not in my opinion.

I’m on the back stretch of editing last year’s book and stopping now would ruin the mojo I’ve got going. So I’ll spend my nano time editing last year’s winner and then start on the next book in the series. Don’t judge me, I tried to participate this year and drum up the enthusiasm of last year. It’s just not there…

But to all of you who are still plugging away, I salute you. I’ve been there and I know how difficult it is, as well as how exhilarating it is each day to reach that word count and even more. Keep it up – I’m your biggest cheering section. I’ll provide the chocolate, coffee, shoulder and even an outlet for your laptop.



8 thoughts on “Why I Broke Up with NaNoWriMo

  1. I have no issue with anyone involved in NNWM, but I’d rather write at my own pace, and don’t like to hurry. My first novel, “The Mandolin Case,” took a decade to write, but the old tortise did cross the finish line in his own time.

    Dr. B

    • My thoughts exactly. I think it’s a great way to get a good kick if you need it. But I had that kick and it was great. I don’t need it every year. Congrats on the book, it’s wonderful encouragement!

  2. Well, the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, and finishing what they write. Doesn’t make sense to stop a good “finish in progress” to start a mediocre story!

  3. Thank god! What I wrote yesterday makes a nice short story and I’m thinking that’s it for me. I still may write from time to time about the cats, but I have no aptitude for dialogue, but even more importantly knew that any time I give NaNoWriMo is time away from stuff I should be doing. My hat is off to all who have a novel in them, and the discipline to carve out extra hours in their day. The whole experience has given me a lot to think about, though, and helped me actually get my figurative house in a little better order.

    • You tried, and it did make you think about your writing. Nano isn’t for everyone but I’m glad I did it last year. It’s great to give your writing a kickstart if you need it.

  4. As W.C. Fields once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” You’ve got fresh ideas percolating, so consider this year paving the way for next year’s victory, m’kay?

    • Well, I don’t see this as not succeeding since I didn’t do it, but I get what you’re saying. If I develop something I am passionate about in time for nanowrimo 2011, I’ll definitely do it. Thanks, Mike.

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