Why I’m Not Participating in #NaNoWriMo, Maybe

Sketch of P.C. Zick by Jae at Lit and Scribbles
Sketch of P.C. Zick by Jae at Lit and Scribbles

It’s that time of year again when the blogs will be filled with progress reports from writers participating in National Novel Writing Month from November 1-30. NaNoWriMo encourages authors to create a 50,000 word novel during November. It provides author feedback and a forum for cheerleading writers to go ahead and get that first draft down.

I followed several writers last year as they wrote blog posts about the process. The posts made me want to participate, but as with last year, the timing is not right for me to drop my current projects and start a new one.

I already have 100,000 words written on the first draft of my next novel. It’s really in outline form now. Next week I start the hard work of fleshing out characters, developing the plot threads and connecting them into a tapestry I’ve entitled Native Lands. The book is another Florida Environmental Novel but will be more suspenseful and mysterious than any of my previous novels. The jump from outline to a manuscript ready for beta readers requires my full attention. Some days, I’ll be researching and not writing. Other days, I’ll be deleting and adding and fine tuning.

However, the buzz for NaNoWriMo started a couple of days ago on some of the blogs I follow. Jae over at Lit and Scribbles plans to participate so she can get motivated for her next novel. Her post the other day almost sent me over to the website to sign up. I got as far as the enrollment page when I decided I didn’t need motivation, but rather I needed my desk cleared to begin smoothing the cement on Native Lands.

So I’m not participating this year.

Yet there’s an idea for another novel niggling at my brain. I’ve already started the notes for the main characters and the plot. It’s about the stage of life after the children have grown, husbands have died or grown fat, grandchildren are the topic of many a late night conversation, and marriages disintegrate into divorce or worse. It’s about turning sixty and finally maturing into adults.

Maybe I should take the challenge of writing 2,000 words a day on the idea. I could still find time for Native Lands, couldn’t I?

See this is my problem. I always do this and marvel with envy at folks who can concentrate energies on one project at a time. Now it’s my time to focus. I dub my month of November Patricia Novel Draft Month.

PaNoDraMo begins right now.

12 responses to “Why I’m Not Participating in #NaNoWriMo, Maybe”

  1. Patricia, I envy you. Native Lands sounds great – I love your stories. As for NaNoWriMo, I did sign up. I’m just not sure I want to do it. Is it wrong to just write one book and quit? My job is so demanding that the thought of writing another book literally makes me nauseous these days. Just don’t know if I can take the stress. 😦


    • Marilyn, I believe that the muse will bring you to the writing when it’s time. You may just need a break or maybe you wrote what you needed to write. Either way, it sounds as if right now your gut is trying to tell you something. I always appreciate your comments.


    • I wrote this post from my ipad and it wouldn’t let me write a final line, which was: What are the rest of you doing about NaNoWriMo? So how about, Staci? Are you participating or have you participated in the past?


  2. Love the PaNoDraMo too! Best of luck. I’m still struggling with an outline, but I’ve got a few more weeks to do that and then the MADNESS. So I guess you’ll be joining us in madness one way or another. 😉


  3. I was all set to participate in NaNo again this year, but my project is a MG novel and I’m aiming for somewhere around the 30k mark. That, and I was so excited about it that I couldn’t wait to start writing it.


    • Follow that muse, Mariah. I really think that NaNo is very good for those needing motivation. It sounds as if you have enough of that without the extra kick. My best to you.


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