To NaNo or Not to NaNo?

…that is the hypothetical question posed to you all. Hey, at least I think of you as more than a skull, m’kay?

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for the past three years now and I’ve never once NOT finished. 2010 was a sci-fi novel, 2011 a short story extravaganza, and 2012 a fantasy novel.

2013 might be…a nothing novel.

Listen, kids, I’m getting married on Halloween and then I’m going to be in Cabo (as in Mexico) for a good chunk of that November on my honeymoon. I can’t just, you know, IGNORE MY HUSBAND, and be all, “one sec, hon, I’m writing when we should be honeymooning. Pool time? How’s about plot time? Sitting on the beach? Only if it’s raining, and I’m imagining a car crash.”

Can I?

In years past, I have slacked off for various reasons — Thanksgiving, my birthday is on the 18th — and have gotten it done. What’s one more? I oftentimes leave it until the last two weeks anyway and write in 10,000 words a day spurts until I sprint toward the finish line.

But on the other hand, I should enjoy myself as a new wife and relax this November, my honeymoon/birthday/Thanksgiving month. In years past, I’ve gotten a little, um, touchy when the deadline approaches. I know, my accent through the computer makes cantankerous sound like touchy.

But then again, I already have an idea!

But then there are the detractors of NaNo, and sometimes I’m really influenced by the random commentators in the intertubes.

But it’s time to write! And November makes me ridiculously productive!

What’s a girl to do? Listen to music, apparently. Or, ride my bike.

UPDATE: I write these things a few days in advance and just this morning (October 16th), I asked Adam what I should do about NaNo and he FULLY INTENDS ON PARTICIPATING. “What else are we gonna do?” I paraphrase for him.



  1. First of all, I fully intend on joining NaNoWriMo. And I understand your desire to enjoy your honeymoon without the stress of it all.

    I want to address that detraction post (which I am not at all saying is your opinion). It always bothers me when people have a lot of negative things to say about something that is, for all intents and purposes, harmless. Why does Laura Miller have a say in what people do with their lives? I know she thinks it’s a waste of time and energy (not hers, however, just others that she wishes to police); that good novels will get written anyway (they will, of course, and thank you for pointing out the incredibly obvious); and she prefer that people read more (noble, but not incredibly novel).

    But, is NaNoWriMo really creating an onerous hardship for readers? Because, in world without NaNoWriMo, novels will still be read; would-be authors will still write crap; and a little bit of fun togetherness will be banished into the void.

    Of course, however Laura Miller wants to spend her time and energy, she can. I’m not about to tell her what is a waste or not.

  2. I can understand, from an agent-y perspective, the dread of the coming Decembers as people ship off their 1-month written novels with nary a thought to editing and readership and just how to go about such things, but, yes, to the average reader NaNo is nothing to get very upset about.

    I’ve had several friends who make a living writing sort of scoff at NaNo (and to some extent, those who participate) as being a mockery of what they do for a living. I can understand their viewpoints too, in that almost 1,700 words a day is nothing to someone who routinely writes three times that because it’s their job.

    It’s sort of a struggle with me, the whole, do I stop my actual job and solely become a writer. Because that’s a big step, and sometimes it feels like NaNo and things like it are holding me back and stopping me from realizing the extent of what it means to be a writer. This is no way a condemnation (not that you even suggested that) of those who participate, but rather a self-internalization of how to best equip myself to become what I’ve always wanted to be.

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