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NoNo NaNoWriMo

October 13, 2009


I’d like to start with a big Thank You to Annie who jumped in with very little notice last week to cover my post. The reason for my absence last week is also the reason for my choice of topic this week.

Yesterday, Jodi gave an excellent rundown of some ways to prepare for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’d like take a look at the opposite side of the coin and give a few reasons—and permission—to skip this year’s NaNo.

For the past few years I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. And each year I’ve won, and had fun doing so. However, I’m going to sit this year’s out. There are many reasons for this.

1. I’ve yet to do anything with the material produced from past efforts. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up on the numbers game—1,667 words per day to reach goal. But when doing so it’s easy to let the story get away from you. Each of the last three years my story wandered in directions I just wasn’t interested in following.

2. Too many things going on in my non-writing life. There’s no shame in saying that you’re just plain busy. Here in the states there are holiday concerns—starting just after Halloween and wrapping up with Thanksgiving. And at least in this house I’m spending the better part of each day looking for a job. If you’re too busy to realistically devote a fair amount of time to NaNo, it’s OK to watch from the sidelines.

3. Recently, I’ve had significant health concerns. Without going into the details here, I’ve had concerns that make looking at a computer screen for more than an hour or two a real struggle.

Now as a writer who is active in the blogging world, there is real pressure to join in the NaNo fray. And join in I will. I will be active in the NaNo forums, especially in giving other participating members the proper encouragement.

But at least for this year I’ll be saying No to NaNoWriMo.

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Dale is spending this week recovering from a rather traumatic visit to the ER, and hoping no one else reading this is afflicted with the monster that is cluster headaches.
  1. October 13, 2009 6:56 am


    Hope all is well and everything works out for you. I agree that there is no shame is saying “I’m too busy” for anything in life, not just NaNoWriMo.

    This will be my first year participating and I’m excited. I have been writing so much this year, I’m looking at NaNo as a break from that. I am half through a novel and the break in November will allow me to forget about the story for a month and let my wife read the story. At the end of November, I will have her read my NaNo story and give me feedback on my other novel. . . then once that one is done, I will let it “cool” for a month while I tweak my NaNo story and see if something is there.

    That’s my plan. . . that is of course in my perfect world! 🙂

  2. October 13, 2009 5:06 pm

    I remember you saying you weren’t going to join the insanity last year Dale – so we shall hold you to saying “no” and allowing all the other things in life to have their due place.

    I totally agree with what you say about having unfinished manuscripts. When the tussle came this year for me to decide what to write and finally decided to finish what I started last year – otherwise I’d have three unfinished manuscripts in my bottom draw. The other thing was, I couldn’t see my family supporting me through NaNo for another year if it was all to just sit there and waste away afterwards.

    I admire you for drawing the line in the sand and saying this doesn’t work for me this year. There is certainly, as Jim says above, no shame in that at all.

  3. October 13, 2009 6:20 pm

    It was a pleasure Dale….and as the other posts note – I too admire you for holding to the promise you made yourself regarding NaNo.

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