For many writers, November is NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). Once upon a time, about nine years ago before I had a child, I also did NANOWRIMO and, if you’re going by the number of words written, I finished it. However, if you’re going with whether or not I had a completed book, I decidedly did not. In fact, ’90s Coming of Age Novel? Well, that’s the book I started all those years ago for NANOWRIMO.

Right about now, I’m tempted (as I am every year) to do a NANOWRIMO push. After all, writing any particular amount every day sounds awesome. But, as an American woman/wife/mother, I find November to be the absolute worst month aside from December for this endeavor. There’s Halloween the night before it begins, and then there’s the run-up to American Thanksgiving and Christmas, which involves a lot of work for women/mothers.

I have to admit, every year, I find myself thinking, “Whoever originally created NANOWRIMO was probably a single male with no family obligations.” My research reveals that it was 21 people, probably of mixed genders, but I’m still doubting that many/any of them had kids and traditional family obligations for the months of November and December.

I was looking for something about mothers and Thanksgiving, but when I saw this, I knew I had to share it. I have the same problem. LEGO families are so judgmental, man.

But, I ask myself, am I just selling myself short? Could I squeeze in, say, 1,000 words a day if I actually focus and do it? I probably could. And maybe I should. And maybe I will try after all. (I say that like I say it every year.) But there’s also the issue of my personality and the way my brain works. Once I’m plugged into a book I’m writing, the rest of the world falls away. Housework? What is that? Appointments? Whoops…nearly missed it…oh, shit, I did miss it! All the little extras? Huh? What are extras? Are you asking me about the extras I’m throwing into my book? Because I’ve given a lot of thought to those! That sort of thing.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas holding such esteemed and important places in the hearts of children everywhere–and definitely in my kid’s heart–my head needs to be in the game. So, yeah, I probably, maybe, definitely won’t be participating in NANOWRIMO. But I guess I might try. Since it started yesterday, I should probably decide.


Probably not. After all, I have edits on the figure skater/rancher book, Training Season, to finish up within the next few weeks. Then I’ve got to get ARCs out review sites. Then I’ve got to decide on a release day for it.

I’m a Libra. I can’t decide. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously, though, GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATE!! *shakes pom-poms* YOU CAN DO IT!!! RAH-RAH!!

8 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Do #NANOWRIMO

  1. I agree about the timing: awful. I did it once, and I was horridly conflicted. Oddly enough I also wrote a 90’s novel which is still unfinished.

    This year, the first day of Hannuka is Thanksgiving, so we’re celebrating on Saturday. Definitely forget about NANOWRIMO. njs

  2. They also hold “Camp Nanowrimo” during July, for those people with obligations in November.

    I’ve done Nanowrimo November for 13 years now, and conditions have never been ideal, but it works for me. To each his/her own, right?

  3. As a father and husband, I completely understand. This is my second time trying it (I also participated in 2007) and both times would have been impossible without a supportive family on my side.

  4. This is my favorite post on NaNo yet! The timing is pretty shitty, isn’t it?

    That said, I’m giving it a go for the first time this year. I have a toddler, so I’m probably out of my mind. And if I’m not now, I’m sure I will be by December 1st!

    Ah, well. Happy NaNo anyway!

  5. I do it every year. This is my 6th. I’ve only not “completed” the 50,000 words once. Housework and everything else goes by the wayside, and I write whatever the next project is that I need a good start on. But I hear you about Thanksgiving. I clean the day before, and my husband cooks the big dinner, and that’s how that goes. I also work, so there are days when I write zero words, and then days when I write 5,000, but I do like how the story seems to percolate all month long. (shrug). It’s not for everyone, though.

  6. I’ve signed up to take part twice, but I’ve never actually taken part. This is absolutely the worst month for students as most have projects to finish and exams to study for. It’s like I’ve been saying, I guess NaSeptWriMo didn’t have the same ring to it, so they chose November.

  7. This is such a great post! I signed up once. I quickly learned my life cannot accommodate a writing marathon in November. My schedule, the kids, the husband, the appointments and my other writing… too much, just too much. I ended up having to put so much extra work into rewriting that thing anyway that I should have just written it at my usual pace and I would have finished it sooner. It’s a great idea for those who can put the discipline to good use, though!

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