Thoughts on Nanowrimo

Well another year, and another dreaded Nanowrimo, is in the books. I say dreaded Nanowrimo not because I don’t like seeing people get excited about writing but more because I dislike the feeling that I get when I try. I have tried many times to plow through and reach the word count but it has never worked. When I first started trying I liked the idea of having a measurable goal to keep myself to because I thought it would give me more motivation, but instead it only added to the already palpable stress of the writing process. I actually reached the word count goal the first time I tried. I sat down every day, even days when my level of caring was below 0, and pounded out the words. I thought that I’d spend November writing, and then December and January editing and polishing. Well by the time I reached January and was in the process of editing I realized a major problem. Somewhere along the way I had become so obsessed with reaching the word count I had placed the higher value on the quantity of the words and had completely stop caring whether or not they were the right words. By the end of that January I had edited away over half of what I had done in November. I still like the overall concept of Nanowrimo and having a measurable goal but I dislike the idea of limiting myself to one month or word count.

Finding the best word

For me Nanos always end up with me placing a higher value on the number of words and not worrying whether or not they are the right ones.

This year I decided that I wouldn’t even attempt to do a Nanowrimo. In the beginning of the month I started a new seasonal retail sales job and I thought that working retail through Black Friday and all of the rest of the shopping seasonal would make for enough stress. Luckily things in the sales world have calmed down enough to let me write this post, but I think things are going to pick up a bit as it gets closer to Christmas. As you might remember from my last post I had set up some reading/viewing goals for the holidays and I wanted to give you a bit of an update. As far as the viewing plans I can happily say that I was able to watch all 3 movies on my list (Inception, The Fellowship of the Ring, V for Vendetta and After the Thin Man) but I didn’t do quite as well with the reading. I was able to find time to read 2 Sherlock Holmes novels (A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four) and Ender’s Game but that was it. I am afraid that I underestimated the level of exhaustion I’d feel working retail during the holiday season.





I would love to just sit here and continue writing a Moby Dick-esque post but I am afraid that I just got called into work…and it just started snowing…yay. Hahahaha!!!! Angry shoppers wait for no man!!

Sorry for the long wait in between my posts, but I very recently got some much needed technological advancements so I have much better inter access. Pardon me for a moment while I do my happy dance. *DANCES* I hope to post more in the future, but I might get a bit caught up in holiday madness.

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day

The Exercise of the Day: The Travel Exercise

For this exercise you will need to picture someone who is about to travel. Describe the clothes they wear, their destination and method of travel. Do they drive a car? Take a bus/plane? What do they pack? Are they excited about their impending trip or are they scared? Take this construct and build a short piece of fiction around it. Have fun with this and I will see you around!!


Filed under Art, Books, Creative, Creative writing, Ideas, Journalism, Literature, Nanowrimo, Playwriting, Plot, Screenwriting, Uncategorized, Writing

8 responses to “Thoughts on Nanowrimo

  1. Bruce Goodman

    Thanks for that. I wouldn’t dream of doing it. I think it’s silly to write willy-nilly and to edit afterwards all the ridiculous nonsense one churned out just to reach a word count. I write slowly and try to do so with care. Thanks for the thoughts.


  2. I did NaNoWriMo twice. I didn’t meet my word goal either time, although both times I finished a book. It taught me that if I sit down and write I will get somewhere. But it was stressful and both books were steaming piles of bird droppings that needed major work to even bring up to a tolerable level. Still I think doing it was very good for me. I learned how much work a book is and I also learned that sometimes its better to sit on an idea and actually work it out properly before plugging words into the computer. A very valuable lesson.


    • I agree! I mean for some people having that kind of work format, or the added level of stress, helps them to work but that just does not work for me. It was awful. I mean the stress of writing was massive and after I finished I was so happy because I felt like I had accomplished something…and then I re-read what I had written…yeah that happy feeling didn’t last long. For some people it works. Not for me. Ah well, that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla.


  3. I participate in Nano but I’ve never completed it. November is always a bad month for me with a lot going on, but whilst a word count is nice it isn’t the driving force in my writing. I got to 10k on my novel in 2013 because of Nano and for that I am grateful. It is a good motivator to push us in the right direction. I tend to want quality rather than quantity which is why I never get close to the 50k goal. I don’t consider it a failure as any progress in writing is a success. Even if the words written are garbage they have still served a purpose and provided a valuable experience.
    Some people take Nano so seriously that they use ‘filler’ such as their plot outlines and character descriptions to reach their counts and I simply don’t see the point of that. Seems to me they are just cheating on themselves.


    • Nanowrimo, for me, does provide a great opportunity for generating ideas, but that’s about it. The idea of having a measurable goal for your writing is alright with me but so many people have been bragging about how many words they were able to write, but they don’t mention if they were the right words. Thanks a lot for reading and commenting!!


  4. Thank you for stopping by and following my blog! Yours is interesting and I can’t say as I ever tried the Nano or will. My second novel beckons me daily and the distraction for it is blogging! I love it so, the instant gratification, the conversations with people like you on wordpress–that’s what keeps me “distracted”, Oh, and the day job 🙂 I wish I could take a sabbatical!


    • I get distracted by too many things to list. I’ll be all set to write and all of the OOOOH SHINEY!!! In the past year I was working retail and trying to move cross country so writing? Yeah that took a backseat. This year I want to get back into my writing groove. Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you on here soon! 🙂


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