NaNoWriMo 2017

I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I know, strange to hear an author say that, but here are the five reasons why I won’t be joining in the “fun”.


  • I Already Wrote Three First Drafts This Year – Not quite the four per year of more established romance authors, but I feel like it’s still an accomplishment. Maybe not the book in a month of NaNoWriMo, but clearly I already have the motivation to produce.


  • I have Five Books That Need Revising – In addition to the three new first drafts I produced this year, I also have two other books in need of revision. I need to be focusing on that as much, if not more, than producing new content right now.
Yeah, about like that.


  • Prep Book For Publishing – I am seriously considering the self-publishing route right now. I’ve been querying a completed book, and I haven’t found any agents interested. But this means I need to spend some of my writing time formatting the book and figuring out how to launch it rather than write.


  • I want My Family to NOT Hate Me – This is a big one. I have that full time day job, and November is one of my busiest times of the year. Even busier than year-end and tax season. Combine that with Thanksgiving, two amazing kids, and a wonderful spouse, and they just don’t need the crap. Seriously. Trying to churn out 1.7k words a day is hard. It’s daunting. And it requires a commitment from the whole family I’m not willing to ask.


  • Stress Kills Creativity –  For me, NaNoWriMo isn’t motivating, it’s stressful. That makes it even harder to be creative, especially in an already stressful time of my life.
Me starting mid-October to April 16th


  • I Want Writing to Stay Fun – The reason I write is because I love to create character and worlds. I love to see good triumph and get my happily-ever-after. I’ve loved reading since I was a small kid, and I decided I wanted to write after reading some books with crappy endings. I wanted control. To see things resolved properly. No control issues here. Nope. None at all.
Me reading a book. Yup.

The one thing I’ve learned is every writer is different. What works for me doesn’t work for them. So, if NaNoWriMo is something that helps a writer achieve their goals, great!

I simply haven’t found it helpful, and for things like work-life-family balance, I’ve found it detrimental. I’m much happier with my five-hundred words-a-day goal. A lot of days I get more, but most days I get at least the five-hundred. It works for me.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I’ll still be here, but I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.

How about you? Do you find deadlines like NaNoWriMo beneficial? Do deadlines help motivate you? Or do you find the added stress actually makes it harder to achieve your goals?

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17 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2017

  1. I do much better with deadlines. They are a challenge. I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo though.

    Last Saturday of each month (since no more commissions 🙂 ) let’s meet up to go over progress and set goals for the next month.

  2. I think one of the main goals of NaNoWriMo is to give writers the confidence to be able to write more and more often. Considering you’ve done three drafts this year, I think you’re reasonably exempt from needing this extra confidence. 🙂

  3. Good for you! I actually enjoy nano and the sense that I’ve given myself permission to try different things without being super self-critical, but…I allow great gaps between my nano events so I can complete my ‘real’ writing. Don’t think I’ll have the time or energy this year either so I’ll probably be joining you on the sidelines. 🙂

    1. As a creative, I hope you give yourself permission all the time to try new things. You’re very talented. But yeah, it’s a huge time commitment. I’d say darn day job, but I need it to pay the bills! 😅

      1. I agree re the job and bills! As for giving myself permission…um no. I’m a perfectionist, even when I know that I’ll probably edit or delete a hundred times before I’m done, I still stress about each word. That is what I can let go of during nano, I guess because I see it as ‘play’.

        1. I hear you on the perfectionist part. I will admit, I struggled with that for years. Now, I throw words on the page and worry about tidying later. It’s why it takes me so many drafts of revisions. Not sure if it’s a good trade-off, but it works for me for now. The creative process is so different for everyone. I think that’s why there are so many writing books. Nothing works exactly the same for two creatives.

          1. -grin- you are so right! I suspect the ones making the most money out of this self-publishing gold rush are the pundits. It is so silly expecting everyone to fit the same cookie cutter mold!

  4. It sounds like you’re very productive without doing NaNo.

    I’ve never done it, but I do draft at about NaNo pace… just never at the right time of year. This year I’m going to spend November revising.

    1. I try for 500 words a day. Some days I get more, some days less. I find a small, reasonable goal works for me. Even on days I am stressed or don’t much feel like writing, I can convince myself to sit down and knock out 500 words. But that’s me. Every writer is different and has to find what works for them 🙂

  5. I’m with you there. I’ve tried doing NaNoWriMo several times in the past and it never works out. I did do the 3-Day Novel Contest successfully last year and had a blast with that. But taking one three-day weekend for non-stop writing is far different from putting everything on hold for a month of non-stop writing (because I know of zero writers who don’t fall behind during NaNoWriMo).

    I also find, though, that for me daily word count goals don’t work to encourage productivity. In fact, they have the opposite effect. For me, I have to simply commit to a certain amount of time writing each day and trust the process to make me productive during that time. I do add to that ballpark deadlines for certain steps of the process as a way to keep myself focused.

    1. Amazing, isn’t it, how many different things work for different people!

      And yeah, I can’t give a whole month. I just can’t. Maybe a long weekend, but even then, it would be hard with my spouse and kids.

      Still, I’ve found an hour or so a night has good results. Maybe a little more on weekends. If I commit tot hat, and actually write during that hour, everything else sort of falls into place.

  6. I’m doing NaNo for the first time in a few years. I figure if I don’t succeed, oh well – I mean, I have plenty going on, so just attempting it is something. Plus, I’ve got a plan it will allow me to test out – dictating my writing while on my way to and from work. I should have plenty of time to write if I do it that way (even if it cuts into my audiobook time).

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