Na-NO But lots of Wri-Mo by Joy Preble

I'm seeing a slight theme from the posts that have come before mine. As in, there's a solid handful of us that just don't do NaNoWriMo.

Correction: I've tried. Twice, I think, the last time being about eight years ago. I had good intentions. I really did. But the truth for me is that competitions like this don't encourage me as much as they give me anxiety-- the same garden variety I get when authors post their writing progress on social media. You know the posts I mean. The ones where Author X or Author Y posts about how many words they've written today and how exhausted they are or how many projects they have scheduled and how tense this is making them or how many cities they'll be traveling to or have traveled to and thank goodness for their intrepid publicist or how tough it is that their book garnered only 4 and not 5 stars or whatever. Or even the posts about how they've followed some very hyper-specific writing routine.

It's not that I don't relate. Or that I don't have empathy. It's just that sometimes those posts are honest expressions of what's going on and sometimes  they're bragging tricked up as anxiousness. We all know that some days we write one sentence that's decent and binge watch Stranger Things all night because we just can't dig in. (Okay, maybe that's just me.) Sometimes we like to tell everyone how we're doing so we can, well, pretend we're doing it. (Okay, maybe that one's just me, too)

NaNo makes me feel like all that.
So do work place diet contests, which immediately make me want to eat two doughnuts and then maybe some chips.

Writing -- for me--is an unpredictable, often painfully slow process. Not always, of course. Sometimes the words flow so fast I can barely get them out. But I am not a fast drafter (although I'm sometimes a speedy outliner) and honestly, the thought of writing without any internal editing just to hit a word count? It makes me itch. I am delighted for those who can do it. I have seen amazing books come from it. But they're just not mine.

That said, I'm somehow--like now-- always finishing a book in November. But I usually arrive here with about 70 pages to go and usually it's a second or third draft at this point.

So I'm sort of NaNo-ing. I'm just not competing, nor did I start it on November 1st.

I'll high five you guys come end of the month.
Because however we get there, we're doing the work and writing our hearts out.
Cheers to that!


  1. I'm not doing Nano either, though to be honest I've never done it. That's mainly because my job is especially busy during November. But I've always been of the opinion that if it works for you, great, if not, that's okay too. Either way, people will be writing, so that's what matters.


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