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Why should I join NaNoWriMo like all those other weirdos?

National Novel Writing Month is one week away and I’m being a chicken.

I’m consciously setting myself up for failure by not planning. I’m a writer, yes. But I have only the barest of ideas of how a novel is written. I know it involves back pain, sandwiches and whinging to someone who has begun questioning their pledge of ’til death do you part.

Allegedly you can plan a story with relatable characters and engaging setbacks and effortlessly descriptive scenes. That’s what I had meant to spent this past month doing.

But then I realized that if I do the pre-planning poorly enough, I can just quit before I even start writing and skip on that failure stuff, right?

That’s the sort of thinking that snowballs and leads to mid-life crisis me, wondering why I didn’t bother with all those intriguing but effortful opportunities all those years ago. And since I’m planning on all my future crises being easily solved by a kale smoothie and a hair appointment, I can’t let that happen.

So here is why I am going to give NaNoWriMo a shot, and make it the kind of shot that has some effort behind it. My slingshot:

  • I want to challenge myself creatively in a coliseum that has rules. I’m good with rules (the non-bendy sort)
  • I want to finish a project, particularly one with a medium-sized deadline
  • I want to spend more time writing (especially: I want to break the habit of saying “I should write” instead of just writing)

With that, I’ll take a stab at writing 50,000 words in November. Let me know if you want to read it. I’m great with peer pressure!

Filed under: Blog, Writing

About the Author

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I am a writer living under a pile of scrap paper and unopened fan mail from the cable company. I believe a messy desk is simply a sign of inspiration waiting to be uncovered. But I’m biased. More from me on Twitter: @zoeywrites


    • Thank you Wendy! I’m hoping there isn’t too much whining to report (but I think writing about my whining could be a good exercise to warm myself back up to get on the novel horse again if I get off track).


    • Thanks Jessica! I like the idea of blogging during about the process as it happens, and then I think it’ll be worth it to write about it afterward also. The quantity over quality challenge should be especially good for me, as someone with a noisy inner editor and who is also good at coming up with distractions for myself not to write.


  1. Pingback: NaNoWriMo: Day 1 leaves the starting gate like a sleepy piglet | Zoey Duncan

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