Why I Don’t Do NaNoWriMo

In writing circles, NaNoWriMo is one of those acronyms that breeds excitement akin to a short line for the roller coaster or induces the need for Xanax.

I am in the later group.

It’s National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo. There are parties and everything.

It is awful.

First, it is a lie. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. Fifty thousand words is not a novel. It is more than a novella, but you need 80,000 to be a real novel. And I always write more words than I can use so if I write 50,000 words, I am only going to be able to actually USE about 40 (thousand).

So it’s some weird fake goal. Like when I say I only want to lose 10 pounds.

Um, no.

Second, I am so enthused by these people who gather in cafes to start their word count at midnight. How exciting! How wonderful! Ready? Set?

I am not doing it.

It stresses me out.

Fifty thousand words in a month doesn’t intimidate me.

But there is something about a national movement telling me I have to do it…An online forum. An accountability system. Check ins. Tabulate. Calculate.

It completely freaks me out.


So, I wish you all who sign up and write like fiends the best.

But I will save my Xanax for special occasions and just call it another month of writing the words.

As many words as I can. The best I can.

We can talk December 1.

But not all at once in November.