Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In Defense of Writing Delays

Flickr Credit: mpclemens
If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, I assume that you are one of two groups: a) not a writer, or b) a new writer who hasn’t been around long. Both of those are fine: the existence of National Novel Writing Month never once mentioned itself to me until I was in eighth grade.

I succeeded that year, tried the next year, got bored, and haven’t done it since.

I will not be writing a novel next month. I’m writing one in December. It’s a superhero story, family based, about divided loyalties and duty and a bunch of great stuff I haven’t really hammered out yet. I’m planning, and I’m working on getting into the genre.

I am totally cool with this.

There are a lot of lists out there telling you to give in, do NaNoWriMo, and with reckless abandon just let your novel fly onto the page—I’ll give you an argument for the opposite.

In Defense of Writing Delays (Or, 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Have to do NaNoWriMo)

1. Community is Distracting—well, that’s not something you hear every day. Yes, writing groups and circles can be super exciting and encouraging, but they’re also another reason to be on the Nano website (not to mention Facebook, and Pinterest, and our email, and why don’t we go on Youtube while we’re at it?). Some people need community, but not everyone can handle the self-control community requires.

2. Timing Complications—now, you are always going to hear that every day is busy—write anyway! This is true, but at least in my annual schedule, November possibly the worst month I could choose to write a novel. April is another one. I’m not going to deal with a crackdown month in school and a novel at the same time; my energies are better focused on small projects. ALSO, Nano almost makes it sound like you can’t write a novel any other month. Guess what? You can. I’m writing my novel in December, because there is less stress and more time available to me—I’m sure I’m not the only one.

3. Pressure and Competition—this isn’t two teams pitted against each other at the Superbowl, waiting for devastating loss and heartbreak when your team loses to Victoria’s, goshdangit—it’s a friendly activity among compatriots. Nonetheless, some people don’t want to deal with that kind of pressure, myself included. If something happens, fine, I still haven’t lost anything, and I can work just as hard without repercussions.

(As you may have noticed, I am rather lax when it comes to my writing habits, which is perhaps why I am not the best writer in the world.)

4. Readiness Factors—I’m not ready to write my novel. You may not be ready, either. Despite October being “National Novel Planning Month” I am not the kind of person who can fit her ideas into a month of thinking. I’ll write when I’m ready. On the flip side, you may be ready to go this instant—why wait? Like Nike might suggest, it’s totally okay to “just do it.”

5. You’re Still a Writer Anyway—interestingly enough, a writer writes. They don’t have to blog, share their writing, do NaNoWriMo, or anything else, so long as they write. I don’t think Nano is much fun. If you don’t, don’t plague yourself: you can still be a writer anyway.

So there you have it. Blogging. NaNo. Nope.

What do you think? Are you going to do NaNoWriMo, or are you skipping this year? Why?


  1. I'm going to do NaNo this year, hopefully and it's going to be my first xD
    Im just doing it to see what it's actually like (:

    1. Then, best of luck to you! I always think it's impressive when people do NaNo (not that I mentioned it in the post) but I'm afraid that sometimes their enthusiasm gets to be... Well, let's just say we're not all perfect. XD

      Anyway, I hope you have fun!

  2. I've never done NaNoWriMo before, but I really want to try! :) This was a good list though- you're fighting the 'mainstream'! <3

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    1. Best of luck writing a novel! I wasn't really trying to fight the mainstream—but I think it's always good to know why you choose to do or not do something.