To NaNo or not to NaNo?

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) just around the corner, hiding in November. And the age-old question rears its head once more. Do I or don’t I?

Last year for the first time I registered and actually started NaNo, but I was soon dispirited by the number of people posting that they’d written 30,000 words by day 3.

Now, for those that aren’t aware, the spirit and original idea behind NaNo was to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. For as long as that was the idea, I was  happy to go along with it. I mean, 1,667 words every day for 30 days is do-able, isn’t it? And 50,000 words is long enough for a short romance or a long novella.

But I don’t think it was started to encourage some people to write the biggest pile of crap in the shortest possible time, and nor are we supposed to start before the challenge begins, although I’m sure many do.

It’s just not playing the game.

Last year I was very quickly put off by this fierce competition that didn’t even embrace the essence of NaNo. I did manage 15,000 words but I still felt inadequate.

Yesterday we discussed this among The Seriously Serious Scribes on Facebook and one friend said that she does NaNo, but she doesn’t log onto the website or the forum. She just disciplines herself to do that.

So should I give that a go instead and become a closet NaNo-er?

I don’t work weekends unless I’m on a deadline, and these days my weekends are more precious and fully-filled than ever. So my other quandary is, if I DO decide to NaNo I won’t do the 1,667 words a day for 30 days. Instead I’d do around 2,300 words for every working day in November.

This could be more work than I need, but I do slot in time to write one of the novels anyway. If I do become a closet NaNo-er (and not actually tell anyone I’m doing it), I could apply it to Catch the Rainbow and just increase my daily word count.

It is nice to get a badge, though …

What would you do?


12 thoughts on “To NaNo or not to NaNo?

  1. esmeraldamac 11 October 2011 / 9:49 am

    I think we can safely assume that 30,000 in 3 days was either started well before the startline or 27,000 of those words are the same word!

    Thing is, Diane, you’ve got projects up and running, and starting a new one would slow up the existing ones. As you say, perhaps you could just use the concept as an incentive to step on the gas for a month.


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:27 am

      I love the thought that 27,000 of those words are all the same one!


  2. Quillers 11 October 2011 / 10:31 am

    When I first did NaNo, someone claimed to have written 50k on the first day. It’s just impossible, and not in the spirit. To be honest, though I talk about NaNo on my blog and log my word counts at the Nano site, I don’t go on the forums there either. I work at my own pace. And that’s the important thing. We should do it at our own pace. So some may be a bit faster (though 30k in 3 days is ridiculous) and some a bit slower. The important thing is to get there in the end.


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:28 am

      Yes, and to discipline ourselves to make sure we get there.


  3. Colin Galbraith 11 October 2011 / 12:50 pm

    I hear what you’re saying and I;m not dong it either. It’s become more of a hindrance the past couple of years so I doubt I’ll do it again – for a while anyway (never say never!)


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:28 am

      I’d like to do it, I want to do it, this just puts me right off.


  4. Sarah Pearson 11 October 2011 / 1:10 pm

    I won’t be joining. I will be using it as a challenge though. I’ll write 50k words in 30 days, although I’m not sure on which project. I did Sally’s 80k in 80 days challenge in Summer, and that made me realise I like the deadlines that are not imposed by me. This one seems too big for me though, so I’ll run along the sidelines in the race, even though I’m not entered.


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:34 am

      That’s a good plan!


  5. Rebecca Emin 11 October 2011 / 4:02 pm

    This will be my third NaNo. In 2009 I ‘won’ and in 2010 I got to 27k. I was happy with both. I only watch the friends I buddy up with on the site, and I don’t use the forums either – I have enough Social Media stuff going on without adding to it to be honest.

    Those people who say they have written 50k in one day… they are only cheating themselves. I ignore them.


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:35 am

      Well done and good luck for this year.

      Meant to add (so adding it now) that it’s nice to see you here. 🙂


  6. Melissa Amateis Marsh 11 October 2011 / 5:13 pm

    Since I just finished my last novel and am preparing to start the next one, I could actually do NaNo this year to bang out a rough first draft. Don’t know if I will, though…


    • Diane 12 October 2011 / 11:35 am

      That sounds like an excellent plan. I hope you do it.


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