Seven Reasons I Don’t Do NaNoWriMo


Yes I am a writer. Yes writers write books. But an entire book in thirty days. I think that sound more like a miracle work to me. You will not find me  among the throng of writers participating in the National Novel Writing Month. Why not? I will explain by giving you ten reasons.

1) I have a wife and children – Okay I am sure I will stomp some toes here and I speak from my perspective only. In order to write 1600 plus words on average each day you are considering 2-3 hours away from everything but writing. That is just too much for me to carve out of my day. I did it when I was trying to finish my current WIP in January to submit to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest and it only caused issues.

2) I need to finish my current WIP – Right now I have a current Work In Progress that is 65-70% complete. I have had to rewrite to simplify the character rolls and I made a promise to myself not to start another project until it is complete.

3) I like to mull my plot over several months before I begin to write. I have several ideas in my mind that I am vetting for use either as contest entries or longer works. Not every idea you have is worth spending 30 minutes on, much less thirty days. I have enough filling my WIP box without creating more junk.

4) I write for relaxation. Setting an arbitrary deadline and stressing because I don’t hit the daily word count is definitely a recipe for stress. Writing reduces my stress and I refuse to turn it into another stressor.

5) November is the start of the holiday season. Why November anyway? Wouldn’t January or February be better? I mean the majority of the Northern hemisphere is suffering through Winter during that time. I have way too much going on preparing for the upcoming holidays in November. 

6) I am preparing for a Mission Trip. For the second consecutive year I will travel to Belize as part of a small mission team to deliver shoebox and backpack gifts to children. As a bonus we are taking 600 children’s books along to help fill a new library at a tutor center. The rewards for that will far outweigh the gratification for a very rough draft of a new novel.

7) I would rather spend my time reading other great posts. Again time is short for the leisure activities, like writing this post. I have several regular weekly posts that I like to participate in and I also enjoy reading posts others create. Basically I suppose it comes down to a personal choice and mine is not to be one of those who participate.

I don’t judge participants as wrong, just that they have different goals.

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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20 Responses to Seven Reasons I Don’t Do NaNoWriMo

  1. Digna Inglis says:

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  4. Habibi says:

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  5. Josh Magill says:

    This is great! Can I repost at TMR?

  6. shannoncity says:

    I don’t do it either, for many of the same reasons. WIP that needs my time, can’t create a universe that’s worth the effort in that short time period, don’t want the stress, quality > quantity…. I suppose NaNoWriMo works for some, but not all.

  7. Colline says:

    Your reasons are very practical ones – and ones I agree with totally. Especially with the time and family issue.

  8. tedstrutz says:

    I’ve always wondered about November, myself. Not my thing, but for those it is… go for it!

    You will truly be Santa Clause in Belize with those children’s books.

    • Joe Owens says:

      When i returned last year I was disgusted at the waste of wealth we have in the USA compared to their meager existence. I figured I could gather enough unused children;s books to help this center.

  9. Blog Every Day in November is nowhere near the pressure of NaNoWriMo. There are suggested topics, but no word count limits or targets. Blogging isn’t a competition after all! 🙂 Sue

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