Monday, November 5, 2012


[I originally posted this on the blog two years ago. Since it still applies, I thought I'd share it again. I figure a lot of you haven't seen it yet, anyway, so I don't feel too guilty about the rerun. Plus, I changed the pictures, so it's kind of different. A little. Sort of. Oh, heck, work with me here...]

If you're at all involved in the online writing community, you already know about NaNoWriMo, affectionately truncated to NaNo.  Basically, you sign up to write a whole novel between November 1 and November 30. Lots of my writing buddies have attempted this. Some have even succeeded.

I have never even tried. Let me tell you why.

The Top Ten Reasons I Say No-No to NaNo

10. The temptation to cheat would be too great. I just know as soon as I slipped behind on my daily word count goal, I'd dip into something I've already written, doctor it up a bit, and cram it in to make it fit. And cheating would be wrong.

9. I've never really written a "first draft." By which I mean: I fiddle with the parts I've already written all the way through, so by the time I reach "The End," I'm probably on about draft 25 of the early chapters.

8. I'm too competitive. If my friends who are participating were to tell me they'd written 2000 words for the day, I'd have to write 2001. (I know. It's a sickness.)

7. I may be *cough* ever-so-slightly contrary. If somebody is telling me I have to do something, I can usually find a way not to. Which explains why I haven't yet read Twilight or seen Titanic. Too many people told me I "just had to!" 

6. I'm too superstitious. I know, deep down, as soon as I commit to writing a whole novel in a month,something will happen to keep it from happening. My computer will blow up. I'll come down withbubonic plague. There will be a rare November blizzard, and I will be shoveling out until Christmas. The Zombie Apocalypse will descend, and my brain will be eaten. Take your pick. 

Possibly even with zombie pirates!!! (

5. November zips by fast enough as it is. I can't afford to age any faster than I already am.

4. Turkey coma. I will eat so much on Thanksgiving that my brain won't be functional until the first week of December.

Yes, I will eat turkey, despite the dirty looks. Lots and lots of turkey. (

3. I like to get the laundry done during my daily writing time. We don't have enough clothing to get me through NaNo.

Not my real washer. Though some days it feels like it.  (

2. If I were to manage to write a whole novel in a month, how would I ever live up to it with future novels? Say I were to take six weeks for the next one? or seven? or even eight? Think how inadequate I would feel. Who needs to feel inadequate? 

And the #1 REASON I'm not doing NaNo? Because I know I'd never be able to keep up with regular blog posts if I did. Either writing mine or reading the ones I follow. Yes, dear readers, it's a huge sacrifice, but I'm DOING IT FOR YOU. :)

So, are you NaNo-ing this year? How's it working out for you? 

P.S. The winner of Diane Henders' book will be announced soon! 


Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL!! Especially #7 (i have a little of that in me)

Not doing NaNo for most of the reasons above. Plus dealing with a hurricane aftermath, pus dealing with edits, plus November is like the worst time ever. They should have it in Sept or Oct or Feb. :-)

abby mumford said...

i am doing NaNo this year -- to get my butt in gear, to tap into the energy of a large writing community, to see what i can do when i put my mind to it.

the other thing i love about NaNo is hearing all authors explain why or why not they support it. it's fascinating!

Diane Henders said...

NaNo? Yeah... no.

I probably *can* write a novel in 4 weeks. When I'm on a roll, I can write up to 10,000 words in a day... but those days, I start writing at 7:30 AM and stop at 10:30 PM. And I do actually have a life and a husband who expects me to speak to him more than once a week.

Then there's the obsessive editing. I read and edit every single word in my novels at least 25 times, and putting a deadline on it would spoil the fun. (Yes, I actually enjoy editing almost as much as writing.) I'd rather take my time and enjoy the process.

Besides, my donkey DNA rebels when someone tries to tell me when and how much to write. :-)

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I'm doin' it again. So far, so good. I've actually made it to the first kissin' scene, woo hoo!

Maybe the lure of getting my characters nekkid will be enough to get me through another week...we'll see!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

#9 is closest to my reason for not NaNoing. It just doesn't mesh with my creative process.

And plus, November is report card and parent conference time.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've never NaNo'd either. Much too busy Oct-Nov-Dec. I can relate to all of your reasons - especially #6, 7 and 8.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

#9 is me all the way! :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I toyed with giving it a try for about one half of a nanosecond, but nah! November only has thirty days, and I need at least thirty-ONE. (Right... more like thirty-one years.) Fun post.

Raley Blue said...

November is like THE worst month to do ANYTHING in my opinion. I'd rather write all through December. November is the crazy run up to the holiday season month. Too hectic for me, lol. Btw, you can skip Titanic, but you might wanna kinda sorta consider Twilight one day. Maybe. ;)

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

I share reasons #5,6&7 with you.
I tried it a couple of years and didn't like what I wrote.
Hey, thanks for sacrificing. I'd miss you if you were gone for a whole month!

Perry Block said...

I don't participate either because I fear that, like you, the temptation to cheat would be too great. Since I already take 100% of my blog posts directly from Jane Austen, I would probably just hand in "Great Expectations" and hope nobody would notice.

The aging thing is a problem too, but I figure November is going to go too damn fast no matter what I do.

Delia said...

I am, because it's fun. I'm not tremendously competitive, but I do like a deadline. So NaNo is a nice fit for me. :)

Al said...

I would go along with #7 too.

And in that spirit - isn't that a picture of a scrawny looking rooster? (not a turkey)

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...

Oh, you, being so unselfish like that...

I almost NaNoed, but I had another writer's novel to edit, for pay, and I just got finished. I'd be too far behind. Besides, I'd rather revise my novel from last November (finally!) and paint something (finally!)...

I'd rather Nano than do laundry, though. But it's easy to do both (and SOO comfy to type on my laptop nestled in newly dried clothing!)...

Pearson Report said...

You made the right choice, dear Linda...the thought of you not having time to come visit me was just about enough to cause me to guzzle my evening beverage.

Whew...I'm breathing a sigh of relief...good call, sista!!!

(Note to self - cut back before heading out to comment...requires way too much proofing for errors)

With giggly smiles from a tipsy Jenny

Unknown said...

This post was hilarious!!!!
And I NaNot too!! We're totally in the same boat! :D

Beth said...

You sound just like me. Especially the contrary part. (Although, really, you need to watch Titanic some day.)