History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Why I Didn’t Do NaNoWriMo This Year (or last year)

NaNoWriMo postcardI did my first National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) in November 2009. I won that year, in that I wrote 50,000 words. But have those words ever seen the light of day again? Nope.

After that year, I attempted NaNoWriMo six more times. I only won one additional time, though The Trouble with the Tick Tock Tabby did come out of a different NaNo year (it didn’t hit the 50K mark, but I finished it within the month). One year, I tried writing short stories, while moving apartments and Jeremy having his gall bladder out. One year, my computer died about a week before the end of November. Aside from these types of weird accidents, November is a HORRIBLE month for me to try to write things. We go to a 4-day gaming convention early in the month, and I typically have at least one large craft show later in the month. So there are many competing things vying for my attention while everyone else is cranking out words.

When I first started writing, NaNoWriMo was a great way to get in the habit of writing regularly and writing without editing myself. These were both valuable skills to learn. But once I had the skill ingrained, I couldn’t really get enthusiastic about doing a novel death march in a busy month. These days, if I want to crank out a novel, I make my own schedule. And it might take me more than 30 days, but what I come out with at the end of a longer period is much more valuable than what I’ve managed to write when my mind is a million other places.

So I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year, or last year, and I don’t know that I will ever do it again. But if you’re a new writer who needs to create writing habits in order for you to feel your most productive, then I highly recommend it!

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