Anti-NaNoWriMo Rants – Shut Up Already

I am a big fan of NaNoWriMo. I do it most years as an added writing exercise because I try to hit the goal each month regardless. I have fun because many of my friends also do it and we encourage one another, I get a chance to go out around town and meet other writers who are doing it, and it is just a fun time. 

Then I read a bunch of posts bitching about how stupid it is and writing is not a race and they wouldn’t be caught dead doing it because they are seemingly too good and write all year and blah blah blah. 

Shut up.

The first year I did NaNoWriMo I was working a full-time 60 hour a week job. I wanted to see if I could do it. I was far from becoming a full-time writer and I just wanted to finish a longer story. So I did it. And then never stopped writing. I consider that 2007 November the kickstart to my writing career. 

And if everyone who ever said ‘I want to write a novel’ decided the motivation was to start it this month, why is that such a bad thing? Your post about them basically being pretenders to the throne you don’t occupy (how’s that day job?) sounds like sour grapes. What if someone else succeeds and jumps over you? You’ll still be trapped in that cubicle working 9-5 and daydreaming you’re a real author, I guess… 

Every author is quick to point out how much they help fellow authors… but your posts prove once again why your career is where it is… practice what you preach. You want to help out fellow authors?

Shut up and do your own shit quietly and let the rest of us doing NaNoWriMo have a fun month of writing and community…


33 replies to “Anti-NaNoWriMo Rants – Shut Up Already

  1. I’ve only done 2 nanos, but I agree with you that they’re fun, and a great way of focusing the mind. There will always be trolls, even amongst authors so let’s ignore them. Have a happy November. 🙂


  2. I agree totally, Armand. My first year was a bit rough because even though I have been writing for many years, I was always an author who wrote in notebooks. That year was huge for me, getting to acquire new skills on the computer. After that, I really got rolling. Now I use it as a springboard for new novels to publish and go well beyond the wordage needed.



      1. Yes, Armand, and I believe NaNo is right when they say don’t edit as you go. Hemingway said the first draft of anything is shit. So just get the story down.



  3. I won NaNo two years in a row. But I’ve decided since that I just don’t enjoy that pressure. However, I have a lot of friends doing it, and I cheer them on from the sidelines. Sometimes it can jump start someone who hasn’t been motivated. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great for others. I hate it when authors preach about what other authors should or shouldn’t do and ridicule them for what they ARE doing. The internet can be a nasty place. 😦


    1. I was going to keep quiet but then I saw authors who should know better (i.e. published authors) talking shit about something that can be great and motivating… people who forget what it was like to be a newbie, or are perhaps afraid others will jump past their local celebrity…



  4. I will be lucky to meet the 50,000. Although I am used to writing at least three novellas per month (estimated, not exact), I have never had it easy to write beyond 20-30,000 words. This being my first NaNoWriMo, I am challenging myself. No one else. I do post my progress, but never post negatives anywhere. I usually ignore the negative people.


  5. Yes! Me, I can’t imagine writing in the annual 3-day novel contest. Ithink I’d die of carpal tunnel syndrome first. Yet one of my favourite recent novels, Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies, was first drafted during one of those 3-day contests.

    NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, had been an excellent education for me.

    That’s the lovely thing about writing. There’s so many different ways to be successful at it.


  6. I don’t think that I “bash” NaWriNoMo, and I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone not to do it if it helps them. I’ll admit that I do get tired of hearing about it and that probably makes me snarky on occasion. I do think that some people (and I’m one of them) do not respond well to pressure to put down a certain number of words every day, and I can’t imagine writing a novel in thirty days.


  7. Great article. I’ve self published four books, but haven’ written for over a year. Although so far I’m not really enjoying nanowrimo, I’m using it as the kick in the pants I need to get started on writing again. Although I agree a real writer writes all year, so many “real” writers get started through nanowrimo so who’s to put it down.


  8. Reblogged this on The BiaLog and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more. I’m a huge fan of helping others and enjoying the push NaNo gives me. If that’s not for you, that’s fine. Just don’t attack others choosing to take part.


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