NaNoWriMo…is it worth it?

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about November is National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and some of us choose to celebrate by, you guessed it, writing. More to the point you write an entire novel in a month. Or at least writing 50,000 words.

I am a lackluster participant in the “Write a Novel in a Month” with an overabundance of enthusiasm for the project. Everyone should try NaNo at least once in their lifetime. It teaches people who want to write a book several very important lessons. Such as:

  • Writing is hard.
  • Writing everyday is harder
  • Writing is easier if you plan.
  • Writing is easiest if you plan & research
  • Don’t get bogged down by editing
  • Is this really something you can do everyday?

This is not to say that NaNoWriMo is the best thing that ever happened to your work. Think of it like a crash course. There is every chance that you will crash partway through the attempt. You will get burnt out. You will be brain dead and exhausted and there is a chance that Calliope will just be too busy inspiring everyone else to get to you.

Here are some downsides to NaNo:

  • Putting an emphasis on your word count
  • Assuming the work is done in a month
  • Doesn’t teach you how to fit your writing in your daily life
  • Does not improve your wrting
  • Stress
  • The disheartening thoughts that you fail if you don’t get this done.

Yes, those are the downsides. I’ve started with the downsides because I think that it’s important to let you know what’s the what before you decide if you want to get involved.

There ARE good points. Really, there are.

  • Forgetting to Procrastinate
  • Struggling along side with a bunch of other hopefuls
  • Setting daily deadlines for yourself-and keeping them
  • Writing Discipline
  • You’ll understand that a first draft sucks.
  • The people at the forums are REALLY willing to help you. More than any other group ever.

I honestly feel that NaNo is a helpful experience, even if you only want to experience it once. So if you haven’t tried NaNoWriMo yet, I recommend it. I am trying it for the third year in a row, but for the first time being active in the NaNo community. So if you wanna be my writing buddy create an account and come find me. I rarely ever bite.


9 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo…is it worth it?

  1. I’ve done NaNoWriMo three times, including CampNaNo, and came up with two novels out of three, so for me, it was the jumpstart I needed to start writing again after a 10-year hiatus. And despite the downsides, you still have 50K words or whatever number you finish with that’s more than what you had when you started.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first time I did NaNo I only wrote 16K words and had to laugh about it. It highlighted my major weakness then of writing under pressure without any prep work. The following year, I nailed it at 90K words that first month though I shelved the novel because it just didn’t feel right. The third year was the charm for me, including the Camp NaNo before that because even though I pants halfway and plot halfway, I was ready. For me, it was a lesson on being kind to myself that should I fail, I still had 16K words I didn’t have when I started for the first year and then 90K for the next. According to my Ulyssess writing program, I’ve written 2 million words since then 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome. The first time I did NaNo I think I got about…ohhh…7k in before I just went “I am totally not prepared.” The next year I was doing fantastically until a medical diagnosis kept me from continuing. This year I’m hoping to make the best of it.

        All I have to do is…you know…research.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LOL I hear you! I did an A to Z challenge last year for my research into 1800’s Manila for a novel I was working on but have set aside to do more contemporary fiction but it sure helped! It’s also the section most visited on my writing prompts and poetry blog, but the things I learned and have up online where I access them now (part of them) was amazing. I need to do another round of it just to learn more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I will say that I disagree with two of your downsides. I’ve found that by going through the fires of NaNo, I HAVE learn how to fit writing into my daily life. The need to find the best time to write every day during NaNo gave me insight as to how to keep that up afterwards. However, it was only when I wanted to do so that it happened; before that, it was easy to finish NaNo and not do any writing work again for another 11 months.

    Second, I think I’ve become a better writer because of NaNo. But it’s probably more because I did go back and revise what I wrote, and I saw what was good, what was bad, and how to do it better the first time next time. So maybe you could say NaNo itself didn’t teach me this, but I would not likely have written the first draft to go back and edit if it weren’t for NaNo.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your post and wanted to offer a few counterpoints.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I love a good counterpoint and yours are very valid. Thank you. Perhaps I misspoke.

      I think that NaNo can make a person a more persistent writer. Persistence can defiantly make you a better writer and can teach you to make sure you write every day, so gold star for you!


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