Wednesday, November 1, 2023

NaNoWriMo or No?


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Jean Davis, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diedre Knight!

October 4 question: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Yes! I have made use of NaNoWriMo. I've participated 9 times, and "won" (as in: wrote 50,000 words in the allotted time) 4 times. 

One of my NaNoWriMo projects became the third novel in my Menopausal Superhero series, Face the Change, so I've even used to bring a project towards publication.

Several of the other projects are still on my back-burners and I plan to go back and finish them and see them through to publication--after I finish the fifth and final novel in this series and fulfill my contract (with a publisher, not the devil, in case you were wondering). 

John Hartness, of Falstaff Books in my driveway

I don't regret the other times I participated, even if I didn't make the goal word count. It was still more words than I likely would have gotten on those projects without the extra impetus and it helped me focus my attention on a single project, which his often one of my struggles. 

But sometimes, my November has too much family or day-job work in it to be able to buckle down for a 50K run. 

I'm not participating this year. 

I'm in the final stretches of a Menopausal Superheroes #5 (still untitled, but I'm narrowing it down), but we're also in the middle of a lot of family things, so I don't think I can do 50K in one month next month. I'm being realistic. 

I also know that I've had the best experience with NaNoWriMo when I'm starting a new project and can use the structure to push me past overthinking and into progress. So maybe next year I'll be ready to start a shiny new project and will use NaNoWriMo for a good jumpstart, but this year, I'll be slogging along at my own pace, working my way to those magic words: THE END. 

How about you? Have you used NaNoWriMo or other productivity challenges to push you in your creative life and projects? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! And don't forget to check out the larger blog hop. I always find a lot of inspiration in the posts produced for IWSG. 


  1. It's awesome that you participated 9 times. And it's good to be realistic when NaNo doesn't fit into your schedule.

  2. I've forgotten how many times I've done NaNo, but there have absolutely been months when I knew it just wasn't going to fit into everything else going on...and some times when I decided to try it anyway. :)

    1. I've done that too. I haven't "won" doing it that way, but sometimes I still stayed more focused on my writing despite the busy month, so I considered it worth it.

  3. Number five! I remember when the first one came out.
    I've participated twice. Good kick in the butt although a struggle for this slow writer.

    1. I'm normally a pretty slow writer, too, but NaNo has been good to keep me from too much overthinking.

  4. Nine times? That's impressive. I would have to have a clean slate if I was to attempt 50k new words. Very best wishes on book #5!

  5. Congrats on doing so much—with or without NaNo. :-)