NaNoWriMo - Should You Quit?

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Hello there! Welcome back to the blog.

Today is Day Nineteen of NaNoWriMo. By this point, in order to be on track, a person must have written at least 31,673 words. This is also usually around the time where writers either have finished writing 50k words, are over the highway mark and are cautiously optimistic, or are wallowing in despair because they're behind and there's no way they can catch up with Thanksgiving looming on the horizon. 

I love NaNoWriMo. I think it is an excellent concept and a great way to help writers get ideas out of their head and onto paper or screen. However, I think we, as writers, have to accept the fact that NaNoWriMo isn't for everyone. You can be the most prepared and determined of writers, but life can get in the way or you can just not be motivated to write your novel. 

Do you fall into one of the following categories?

  • Do you hate the thought of sitting down and writing?
  • Are you writing just to write words knowing that you will delete these chapters out of your manuscript when NaNoWriMo is over?
  • Are you lying about your word count on social media to keep up with your internet friends?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I think you should consider quitting NaNoWriMo. As an author, you shouldn't hate writing. Will you get frustrated? Yes. Discouraged? Yes. However, I would hate for any of you to abhor the idea of writing simply because you're trying to reach a goal someone else thought of for you. Set your own goal, no matter how small, and enjoy your newfound peace of mind.

I also don't believe you should write just to put words down knowing that this isn't going to stay in your novel. Do first drafts typically suck and change over time during the editing process? Yes, but as an author, we're still pretty happy with our first drafts. When we go through the self-editing process or send our manuscript out to critique partners, we do so knowing that we put our heart and soul into our work and that we believe every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter has a purpose. I'm always focused on quality, not quantity, and I don't think that focus should change for one month just to win an event.

Last, but not least, let's discuss the lying. Just don't do it. Don't be so caught up in a writing goal that you have to lie to your friends and on social media. If you're going to lie, lie about something more important than a writing contest that doesn't even have a monetary prize. NaNoWriMo is not that big of a deal.

I have a new challenge for you. Embrace your word count. So, its November 19th and you've only written 10k words. Congratulations! Yay, you! Pat yourself on the back! Be happy that you now have 10k more words than you had on October 31st. Just keep writing. Join physical or virtual write-ins. Make and achieve your own writing goals. Or, continue with NaNoWriMo, win it, and put all of us to shame. Do you, boo. Trust me; you'll thank yourself on December 1st. 

Pro Tip: If you do want to continue with NaNoWriMo, I don't want to hold you back. I found this great article on the NaNoWriMo website titled Don’t Quit! 5 Ways to Recharge Your Writing. Click here to check it out. 

Where are you on your word count for NaNoWriMo? Are you continuing or stopping? Is it something you never plan to do? Let me know in the comments down below.

Until next week,

Jade