Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Insane Or Motivating? Depends on your expectations and situation

Today's the first day of NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month! The goal: to write 50,000 words in one month.

I'm a NaNoRebel this year, but my friend Errol Elumir and I are doing daily NaNoWriMo comics over on the NaNoToons site.

There are many experienced writers out there who hate the idea of NaNoWriMo, or think it a waste of time.

As I mention in a blog post today, my take is as follows: it depends on your motivation, situation and expectations. If I had to offer one piece of advice for NaNoWriMo newbies, it would be this:

Whatever you do, do NOT send out your NaNoWriMo novel right after you've finished at the end of November, no matter how excited you are about it

If you wrote it in hopes of getting it published, then put it away for at least a few weeks and then start working to polish it. If you can wait until March, then participate in NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month).

My other piece of advice: Have fun with it. If it's not fun, then why participate? If you find yourself falling further and further behind in wordcount, building up stress and guilt and self-loathing, then maybe NaNoWriMo is not for you.

Although I've done NaNoWriMo in the past AND had fun with it, I've found the timing just hasn't worked out for me in recent years because I'm always away for a big chunk of November. So I make my own motivation as well as finding other ways to vicariously enjoy doing NaNoToons. And being an extra in the 6-part web series about NaNoWrimo, NaNoMusical! First episode just launched, and I appear in a few scenes :-).

So is anyone else participating in NaNoWrimo, PiBoIdmo (Picture Book Idea Month) or one of the other November writing challenges?


  1. November never seems to work for me. If I ever tried it, I'd probably designate February or March as my own personal Nano. But basically I'm not a Nano person.

    Good luck to all who are Nano-ing!


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