To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo

I thought about taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve contemplated taking part in the last four competitions but always found a reason not to enter.

The last couple of years I’ve been studying, so the thought of juggling 50,000 words and OU assignments at the same time made me put my NaNoWriMo ambitions on hold.

I like the idea of free-writing 50,000 words to start a new project. I also like the idea of having definite targets to work towards. In the first week of October I had an idea for a novel.  I logged onto their website and looked how to enter. I was ready to sign-up.

And then it hit me.

I’m editing the last novel I wrote. I don’t want to get caught up with a new project. I already have a script, novel, two flash fiction stories and two short stories on the go. (And this blog, of course!) The last thing I need to do is add to that list.

I need to FINISH something and submit it.

Editing my novel takes priority; NaNoWriMo will wait another year. I’ll let this idea fester in the back of my mind until then. I’ve written some notes and I’ll keep thinking about it until next November. Hopefully by 2012 there will be nothing to stop me.

Until then in the spirit of targets I’ve added a progress bar to the Crime Novel in Progress section to your left. Thanks to Stacking Pennies blog for that.

Good luck to everyone taking part this year. Let me know how you’re getting on. NaNoWriMo rules!

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in Novel In Progress, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo

  1. you are so right, nanowrimo is a distraction that writers in the middle of a long form project do not need

    Good luck on your book. May it fly into many hands.

  2. alibifolio says:

    You’ve discovered the One Thing separates writers from would-be writers; FINISHING your projects. Well done!

  3. I’m with you. I considered doing NaNo this year, but I’ve GOT to finish several projects I’ve already started. But next year, count me in!!!

    • 22niel says:

      good luck finishing! that first ‘The End’ is the greatest feeling on Earth. It may have been 2-3 years later before I felt it was worth publishing, but the moments it will bring (like last night when a woman I hardly know who happens to be an English teacher told me she was impressed with my dialogue…) make you proud you stuck it out until the end without regretting the time it took

  4. Great to see that you’re spending time writing. I know that keeping up with the 10dbc Blog really excites me because my personal manuscript has taken the backseat for the completion of business development. We have some great things coming down the pike for 10 Day Book Club. It really is all about manuscript development as a writer goes through the process on a renewable monthly basis. Two writers (that I personally know about) have taken 20 year old manuscripts from the closet and now feel a sense of completion. Something to consider as you move forward. There are still a few adjustments taking place within our model but the focus really is on the writer. If something comes up that doesn’t feel right, we’ll take care of it. We’re new – passionate – and the sole purpose of 10 Day Book Club is to help writers. Thanks for following our Blog and make sure we’re connected on Facebook (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn ( I’ll make sure that we market your Blog or other website through these social networks. Take care, post often on our networks and share. We love the share button. : )

  5. philsrogers says:

    Hi Pete. That’s fantastic that you have finished your first draft!

    I must admit I think Nanu nanu is a bit of a distraction. I also wonder what sort of quality you are going to get writing that many words in a month and how much of it will have to be binned or re-written to turn it into a decent product.

    Good luck with the edit,

  6. I get what you’re saying. Write1Sub1 is keeping me busy enough this year, but I’m thinking I may climb aboard the NaNo train next year.

  7. Donna Brown says:

    I have a different philosophy when it comes to NaNoWriMo, I have 11 other months to edit. I use November to write new copy.My muse gets a chance to play all month and my internal editor gets the month of November off and I never have to worry about writer’s block!

    • petedenton says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I have an idea for a novel and I do plan on using NaNoWriMo next year to get a draft written. I like the idea of purging the story out onto the page and edit later.

  8. turenn says:

    In defence of NaNoWriMo, it was only ever intended to be a bit of a laugh, and can be encouraging to writers who are so paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes that they never write anything. The book “No Plot? No Problem!”, about the comnpetition, is excellent, well worth reading even if you never enter the competition.

    • petedenton says:

      I agree about NaNoWriMo. I want to do it next year to freewrite 50,000 words towards a new project. I like the idea of being able to just write and not worry about editing or does that sound right. For me it’s more about getting the timing right. 2012 is that time.

  9. I did this and felt so good that I’d actually written something with a beginning, middle and end. (Not necessarily in that order…) I’m actually looking forward to editing it. Good luck with your book!

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