National Novel Writing Month, Part 2: …Or Not to NaNo

By Chris Richards, Assistant Director

In part one, we explored reasons to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This blog is about reasons why not NaNo.

  1. I’m in the process of moving to another state. This actually didn’t happen to me, but a good friend was packing up her house during the month of November for a cross country move and tried to take the NaNoWriMo challenge. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to do both projects and still get a nap in the schedule.
  2. I’ve learned from experience it can drive me insane. I lose sleep. I have the pressure of a looming deadline. And worst of all, I willingly chose to put myself in that position.
  3. Every time a family member wants me to stop and do something, I give them “the look” and they roll their eyes thinking “She’s at it again.”
  4. I turn into a person who talks to complete strangers about my book and every interaction becomes a potential plot twist.
  5. I’m having major surgery. One year I tried to do NaNo at the same time I had gall bladder surgery. I know there have been writers who used drugs, but I’ve learned I am not an author who can do that.
  6. If you’re a writer who writes from a planned plot outline. As a “pantser” who likes to write from the “seat of my pants” I enjoy this format, but many of my writing friends who like to be more organized and have everything plotted out in advance find NaNo to be very hard and very frustrating.

So, think as you can see from these two posts, I can think of more reasons to NaNo than reasons not to. I encourage everyone to give it a try. For more information about NaNoWriMo, go to
This post is also posted on Chris Richards’ website Passing the Quill, under the title … Or Not to NaNo.

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