Is NaNoWriMo worth doing when you have other projects on?

War and PeaceNovember is approaching which means the internet’s entire writing community is about to become quiet a tetchy when interrupted. Yes, it’s National Novel Writing Month again. This brilliant event takes place every November and tasks wannabe novelists with writing a 50,000 word first draft in only 30 days. I have praised this event in the past and continue to praise it as one of the best motivational tools a writer can have. If you choose to participate, it forces you to stop procrastinating and get that first awkward manuscript out of the way. As that first attempt is a very common stumbling block for new writers, we need all the help we can get.

My history with NaNoWriMo is not quite so impressive. I have attempted it three times and never successfully completed my 50,000 word draft. Last year I did get further than I have ever done before, and while that manuscript will never see the light of day, it was a big help for all I would go on to achieve in 2012.

Which brings me to this year’s event. In the past, whenever November has rolled around, I have usually been in a procrastination phase and so attempting NaNoWriMo has been nothing but a good idea. This year, I have a list of projects I’m working on, I’ve self published two short stories and I’m in a much better place. I’d certainly like to give it a go, but will the motivating benefits be lost on me if I’m already, to a degree, motivated, and would my time be better spent on more of my short stories?

I’m still thinking about it, but I think the temptation of NaNoWriMo will seduce me in the end. After all, I’ve yet to actually hit that 50,000 words.

Watch this space.

  • I think I have been doing nanowrimo for the past 9 years and only successfully finished 3 times. It’s tempted to abandon it when you have other projects as hitting 50,000 words isn’t as easy as it sounds lol. I was also working on a project, but about 20 pages into it I decided to change the format, then decided instead of starting all over I’ll just work on the plot and characters until nanowrimo starts and then start over with the new format.

  • never heard of this- sounds like a challenge. I started a story last month, flying through the words now, think i hit 40,000 last count.- and I have a few more up my sleeve,

  • Well, it comes around in November. Think you’ll give it a go this year?

  • i’m gonna read up on it now- sound like a great way to lose a month(and the missus)

  • It’s definitely a time hog. No doubt about it.