Nah! To the NaNo Challenge

I know that I’m the umpteenth person to write about what is about to start tomorrow, NaNoWriM. Still, most of what I’ve read thus far are articles promoting this event. I, on the other hand, am discouraging it.

Nah! To the NaNo Challenge
Image provided by
Mike Licht @

Most people who are writing and are on the Internet have read somewhere about the National Now Writing Month (NaNoWriM). It starts tomorrow. I won’t bore you with the details of this website or program. Most of my readers are writers so, therefore, know about it. If, by chance, you’re unfamiliar with this endeavor, just click on the link above.

I’m astonished at the writers who take the challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days. That would mean writing 1667 words per day no matter what else is going on in your life. Yes, I have written that many words in one day. In fact, on occasion, I’ve written more. Only it’s never been under this type of time pressure. Even in college, I had two months to finish a term paper or report.

Could it be that the people who sign up for this are just naturally more competitive? In my estimation, they must be. This attribute is one I’m severely deficient in. That is unless I’m sparring against myself. Even then, I’m not one to beat the clock. I usually compete for better quality. You know, “I know I can make this better” type approach. If you put me in a race though, the only way you’re going to win anything from it is to bet against me.

I’m also assuming that those who sign up for NaNoWriM like the connection with other writers as they battle through the month. I do, however, wonder when they find the time to converse when they have such a short deadline. And how do they getting anything written with such disarray? Even in my most leisurely pace, I crave, want and even need peace and quiet, even in my head. I must be totally submerged in the project I’m working on – no distraction – period.

I read somewhere – maybe it was the NaNo site – that a person can learn so much from the November experience. I can’t help but wonder how many people learn that they don’t have what it takes to become a successful writer because someone says you must suffer, cry, pull out your hair and still make that deadline in order to call yourself a writer. Although there are times when I cry, pull out my hair and generally am suffering, the added hell of having a deadline like this would send me over the edge.

This approach may have its place though. If you’re in college (at common college age, that is) and are already geared up for your classes both physically and mentally, this kind of challenge may be thought of as one of your extra curricular activities.

One problem I see that is probably there for many, is that other things in our lives are important too. With many of us, writing is thought of as a second chance to have a career that we love. Our first one was more of a “have-to” to pay the bills no matter how happy we were to go to work every morning.

Another problem with this competition thing is writing is an art. No one goes to the science department at a college to find a class that will teach him or her how to write. The class is found in the Arts and Humanities Department. A painter would have a terrible time working with a deadline. Yes, I know that many do just that. However, these people think of those paintings as their jobs, whereas the time they spend with their own creative minds while they paint is their passion. And it shows in the finished masterpiece. It’s the same for writers.

Nah! I’ll pass on this venture of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I love writing way too much to do that.

To those of you that are plunging into the event tomorrow, I offer my heartfelt wishes and luck to you. ❤

17 thoughts on “Nah! To the NaNo Challenge

  1. I’m imagining what my home and work would look like if I were to take up this challenge. I already run late and sidestep mess to spend a bit more time on twitter, Facebook and blog reading / writing in the mornings and late in the evenings. As the mess grows I might become newsworthy but not for a good reason haha. Best wishes though to those able to compete. Like true athletes I guess some have greater stamina and application. Their contributions will be great to watch and I wish them lots of success and look forward to reading their contributions.


  2. Elizabeth Potter, c.p.c.

    I’m with you on this Glynis. Writing is an art. Yet, I think the purpose of this is to just get words out on paper and then take the next year to revise it. lol I had considered it. Heck I even signed up for it, but after some deep thought I will pass, maybe next year I will be in the mood to be stressed. hehe


  3. Every one of of your reasons resonates with me, Glynis. Which is why I’m not doing it. But, I am pondering it for next year–only because so many people love it. Does that make me shallow? A follower? Probably. Oh well.

    BTW, love that image.


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Jacqui, if you can stand the self-created stress the program is most likely to bring to you, go for it next year. I know that you have the writing talent for it.

      Yeah, I like that picture too. That would be me if I could drink wine without getting sick.


  4. Just had a look at their site….I don’t know how on earth I’d fit that in… I would need to sit at this computer for most of the day and then feel depressed because nothing was getting done. Yup, I’ll also be passing on that one


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I think you may be like me; not being able to work well under great amounts of stress. I push myself but only as far as I think should be needed. Example: Working on chapter 7 and I’ve finished 2 scenes. I could stop there and pick it up tomorrow. But I know that I only want one more scene for the chapter. I’ll take my chances and try to do it then and there. That’s enough stress for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Been there. Done that. Still have it in a drawer. Plan to get back to it January and maybe try NaNo in 2015. I DID learn a lot but the pace ate my brain. I finished over 50,000 three days before end of month. 👿


    1. Glynis Jolly

      After doing the math for this post, I wondered how the extra words would play out. Tess, I know how well you write. I do think you have it in you. Still, your big decision is whether you really want to do the fried brain thing. If you decide to go ahead with it, I’ll support you. 🙂 ❤


      1. Thank YOU, Glynis but writing is WORK for me. Sure I enjoy it but it sucks my energy. 2012 was my first (and only) and I had no idea what it would be like but I sweat out the words. I still can’t believe I reached the finish line. Maybe 2015.
        Still need to answer your e-mail. Sorry I’m late. Been in and out a lot lately so got behind.Today is my birthday and I wan to treat myself by READING a lot. I will respond before end of weekend, okay. ❤


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I’m thinking that maybe you have to be dedicated to the end result to thrive on a program with such stress attached to it.


  6. I did NaNo last year and discovered it was not for me 😉 It really seems to work for some people. I did get some great really rough stuff, but I don’t think I’ll ever do it again, but never say never. I’m better off getting a regular schedule down where I write 1,000 words a day rather than try to put pressure on myself to spew out a bunch of stuff in a sprint. Everyone has their own style though. When I first started my blog, I did the A-Z Blogging challenge. It was just too much. We live in a world where all that is quick and fast is supposed to be good, and there are writers who boast writing 10k words a day. Well, the four books a year they might publish read like they were written in a hurry as well. Yeah, let’s say nah to Nano!


    1. Glynis Jolly

      Your statement about authors who can publish 4 books per year brought James Patterson to mind. I’ve read a couple of his books. They’re okay but for fast-pace books, it was easy for me to put each of them down when I had other things I wanted to do.

      I wish desperately that I could get a daily schedule going. I can find 2 to 3 hours each day during the workweek that are not disturbed. This is great, of course. However, because of mild cognitive problems, I need the schedule for all 7 days, not 5. Hubby, even after 24 years, cannot understand this need that I have so the weekends are shot and on Monday I spend half of my writing time trying to re-wrap my head around my writing project. Scream!


    1. Glynis Jolly

      I wonder how many are doing their second draft. I know it’s tedious but a program like this may be just the thing to stop procrastination.


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