No Can Do NaNo

Top Five Reasons why I’m not involved in the National Novel Writing Month competition:

5. I never win. Apparently I’m incapable of writing 50K words in a month. Even though Give the Lady a Ride was a NaNo attempt, I didn’t win that year (got it  published, though).

4. My husband likes it when I’m not sequestered with my computer.

3. I don’t have time. None. Zero. I have one week to edit two manuscripts, prep for my extended absence, fulfill my obligation to help others with their book launches, among other things. Somewhere in there, I have to remember to feed MSB and the cats, check on Mom, and tend to household business.

2. This is the last week that is “mine.” From here until the end of the month, all my time belongs to MSB, Mom, and family. Which means I would’ve had from the 1st to the 14th to write 50,000 words. If I can’t do it in 30 days, I can promise you I can’t do it in 14.

1. I’ve spent the past couple of months polishing the final draft of The Cat Lady’s Secret and am not prepared for NaNo.

Number one is my favorite reason. Because of my push over the last couple of months, Cat Lady is sitting in an agent’s computer today. The novel was my 2009 NaNo attempt, but I concentrated so hard on getting the word count, that I failed the story miserably. Everything I put in had to come out. Consequence of not having an outline of some sort. Dumb.

Number five up there tickles me. Apparently I’m not capable of writing over 70,000 words–which is roughly the count for Cat Lady. Ride barely crossed over 68K. Novel length is supposed to be 80,000+. Someday, maybe one of my novels will actually be novel length.

Since the “lack of time” business will be the story of my life for the next several years, I think NaNo and I are officially parting ways. Unless I can figure out how to write 50K in half a month, there’s no point in taking on the stress.

Good luck to everyone else who is participating. I want to hear some success stories by December 1!

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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13 Responses to No Can Do NaNo

  1. Keaghan says:

    I have several friends who are participating, but I am not. Why? Because I’ve set my own writing goal for this month–finish my editing of my novel-in-progress. 🙂 I don’t want to have another 50,000-word mess clogging up my time, only to find that, at the end of the month, it has no plot, purpose, or anything worth keeping. I’d rather spend that time editing and polishing. Just my two cents!



  2. I love the idea of NANO, but November? Horrors.

    I’m actually a turtle. I set a goal at the beginning of the year and plod toward it all year. OK, sure, maybe I have to make a NANO-like effort come November, but it’s my effort and my pace and my consequences. And usually it’s non-fiction anyway–which makes me ineligible.

    I love hearing from friends who do NANO though. And love the community behind it all. For me, NANO is great encouragement to do my own thing in November, knowing that thousands of other folks are ensconsed in a closet doing the same thing.

    Congrats on the agent-desk-sitting MS, Linda!


  3. I’m a big fan of NaNo – for other people. It’s a great program, but I’ve never felt the pull to attempt it myself. I work better on a slow and steady basis, without the pressure of daily word counts.


  4. I’m participating but not anticipating the 50,000 word count. I just want something to keep me pressing forward as I’m nearing the end of my rough draft and energy was flagging. I figured having to put up a word count would keep me inspired. If I get 16,000 words that would be fine with me – I am writing quality too, not just quantity so I go back and revise my rough draft a bit. I figured it would be fun to try. Maybe next year I can do 50,000. My memoir will need to be seriously edited for I am verbose.

    Have a blessed day.


  5. No Nano for me either, just like you, time constraints. A full time job, husband and family doesn’t leave much time for writing. (I am not complainig about the job! I am so blessed to be working and it may end up being a permanent position, which would be even better.) So, I just play with my own little projects on my own time. Many of my writer friends are participating, and it is fun to listen to them, and give them support.


  6. ~Brenda says:

    I have always wondered why NaNo is in the month of November. Is it because November starts with an N? 😉 With the holidays coming up and all, I never feel like I can wrestle a NaNo. I truly wish they’d do it in January, when all the holidays are over, and I’m in need of stimulation and goals. Ha! It’s all about me, don’t ya’ know!


    • Linda says:

      Brenda, I’ve always wondered the same. I thank NaNo was started by someone who’s not responsible for Thanksgiving or Christmas.


    • If it was in January i it would be JA-NO – not sure it has the same edgy phonic sound.
      and in German it would sound like – yes-no. LOL
      Of course writing 50,000 words in a month makes it hard to know if one is coming or going, for or against.


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