Why You Shouldn’t Do NaNoWriMo

‘Tis the season for NaNoWriMo posts. It’s like being pursued by skeletons that throw rotting pumpkins at you. Where’er you roam on the Internet, some brilliant soul is ready to draw you into doing NaNoWriMo, with their beautiful bullet list.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never done a complete NaNoWriMo. I’ve come close in Camp NaNo, with counts that bounce around the 40k mark. So I’m definitely a fan of NaNo and all the lovely wordiness that it has to offer. But I’m here to be the local prophet of doom and give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t.

You’re not a writer.

What are you doing here, then? Shoo. Begone. Return no more. Jeez.

You’re a dedicated plotter.

Not to say that NaNoWriMo isn’t for plotters! Far from it. If you’re like me and like to have 95% of the details ironed out, give the story a few months to brew, and wait till the full of the moon to start drafting….please don’t put yourself through the misery of starting a fresh WIP that you’ve barely thought about. Maybe finish an partially done one that is already plotted (that’s what I’m doing! I’ve never gotten 50k in a month, so I’m excited to nail down this sci-fi story). Maybe fill your words with short stories. Or plot during this NaNo, and save your drafting for November 2018.

You’re setting yourself up for failure.

If you’re a pantser who likes to sketch novels off ideas that knock on your door at midnight, fly free! Enjoy your gift. Write boldly and well. I am cheering for you.

But, if you’ve never done NaNo before, have no idea how long it takes you to write 1k (much less 50x that), your grandmother is visiting, you have to overthrow the faction system, and keep your relatives from murdering each other over Thanksgiving turkey … maybe refrain. Not just because you might not get the Almighty Badge of Completion (pfft who cares), but you might discourage yourself, when the reality is that writers have lives. -strokes my laptop in denial-

That being said, there’s a million and one reasons why you should do NaNoWriMo.

Here are a few:

  • -You thrive on seat-of-the-pants writing and could care less about Carefully Bulleted Outlines and Forethought.
  • -You are a plotter. Your outline is ready. Your hands are folded. (Or…they will be come October 31st. All hail procrastinators.)
  • -You’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For this year’s NaNoWriMo and you refuse to miss it.

All quite valid reasons. Just make sure you’re doing NaNo because you want to, not because every writer’s head is on fire right now because OMGOSH NANO ONLY HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR WHAT WILL WE DO SEND HELP.

are you doing nanowrimo this year? what are your plans? are you a first-timer or an old pro at this?

13 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Do NaNoWriMo

  1. Jane Maree says:

    I’m doing NaNo for the second time!! Super duper excited over here. I’m even super organised and I’ve started brainstorming my novel. *gasp* (hmm…I probably should get back to that soon…all hail procrastinators, indeed. XD)

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  2. Kristi says:

    -You’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For this year’s NaNoWriMo and you refuse to miss it.

    That’s my reason…but then, that’s my reason every year. I usually miss it as soon as it’s over. And I know I can write the rest of the year, and I usually do (last year and a half excluded, because new job). But there’s just something about NaNo that is thrilling! This will be my 8th year!

    Good luck with your NaNo!

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  3. floatinggold says:

    When I first heard about it, I thought it was a fun, motivating way to get going. But then, I actually took a minute to think about it and figured out that, unless one preps well, it might turn into a silly task one will abandon on day 3. It is ridiculous how the majority of my WP wall is spammed by NaNo posts filled with go-getters. More the power to ya! But I do not follow the crowd in most situations, and so I definitely will not start now. I write when I am inspired. I write when I want to. I don’t want to write because I “have to”.

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  4. AJ says:

    oddly enough, my grandmother /was/ visiting during a portion of nano last year…O.O

    I am doing Nano again for the second time this year, but not forcing myself to strive for a full 50k because I’ve never even written that much on a single novel in my whole life, plus I have a very busy schedule.

    BUT that said, I’m half pantsing, half plotting with a new story I was given from the sky one day a few weeks and love. it’s got a rough outline sticky-noted to the back of my bedroom door and a blank word doc waiting for Nov. 1st. Hopefully should be a fun project to work on. ❤

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