Writers: Have You Ever Participated in NaNoWriMo?

Free image courtesy Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash.

Recently, I had been busy working on the edits for a couple of writing projects when I had forgotten all about NaNoWriMo. In fact, when I visited the site, I was shocked to discover I hadn’t participated in six years!

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo about three times in the past, making it over the finish line of 50k twice. I can honestly say that both times, those ‘successes’ were both steaming excrements, and I have not revisited either of them. Having said that though, they were both learning experiences. I learned that for me, at least, when it comes to writing novels (or even novellas for that matter), I need to have an outline.

So, why has it been so long since I participated?

I’m not sure if it is just me, but each time I participated in NaNoWriMo, I would get bad headaches. Maybe it was the stress of pushing myself to reach a certain word count every day, or other factors, like the computer screen, or needing to get my eyes tested. This time, though, I’m prepared: I have a new computer with a bigger screen, and I’ve been wearing reading glasses for some years now (the joys of getting older). I’m devoting the entire month of November towards this project, as well as trying to meet a deadline for my editor. At least now, I have an excuse to binge on Netflix! 😉

In the past, I always worked on something new, but this time I’ll be doing something different by writing a new draft of an existing project. Don’t worry, I won’t be cheating, as this project is in dire need of a re-write (it hasn’t been touched for some years). But by doing this, my outline is already there after a few tweaks, and my world and characters are a bit more fleshed out. I usually work linear as well, but in NaNoWriMo you don’t have to, which is a great help in getting those words down. Because this project has been bubbling away for some time, I’m keen to get started.

If you’re participating this year, let me know, the more the merrier. I wish you the best of luck! Let’s cheer each other on!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this month? Have you worked on your novel after NaNoWriMo? Are you a plotter or a panster, or somewhere in-between?

17 thoughts on “Writers: Have You Ever Participated in NaNoWriMo?

  1. I’m not doing Nano. I did it in the past, and it was fun, but nah. Good luck with your project, Debbie!

    1. Debbie Johansson 02/11/2022 — 6:08 am

      Thanks, Priscilla. To be honest, NaNoWriMo is not really my thing either, but I figured I needed a bit of a push at the moment, so it was the motivation I needed.

  2. Good luck with the rewrites! I’ve never tried Nanowrimo, but reworking an old project sounds like a great way to do it. If I ever do sign up for Nano, that’s probably what I’d do.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/11/2022 — 2:17 am

      Thank you, J.S. Re-working an old project during NaNoWriMo is new to me, so it will be interesting to see how this experiment goes. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Good luck with your project and it sounds like you’re really well prepared to make the most of the time and opportunity. I’m seeing lots of different ways of participating being covered in this month’s post which are making me think I may be able to make it work for me too sometime soon(ish)! Oh & I’m a pantser by nature – yet to decide if that’s a good or bad thing for NaNo.

    @DebsDespatches posting today from Fiction Can Be Fun

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/11/2022 — 2:23 am

      Thanks, Deb. I did NaNoWriMo once without an outline and it was a complete disaster for me. That’s when I found out I need to outline, so at least it taught me that. Best of luck whenever you do decide to do NaNoWriMo! 🙂

  4. I’ve never officially done it, but when I worked at a story studio, I wrote more than 50K words a month for several years, so I think that should count. I won’t be joining in this year, either, but I always like to follow everyone’s progress. I hope you don’t get headaches again and wish you luck with your rewrite.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/11/2022 — 2:30 am

      Thanks, Staci. Wow, 50k a month for several years! That’s amazing, and something I would never be able to do. I struggle just to get through NaNoWriMo! I’m planning to take things a bit easier to avoid those headaches, so any words written is a good day. 😉

  5. Hello! Welcome back to the insanity! This will be my 13th year participating (with varying degrees of accomplishment, but I’ve “won” more often than not). Feel free to find me on the NaNoWriMo website so we can be buddies! http://www.nanowrimo.org/participants/morada-granada

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/11/2022 — 2:38 am

      Hi Rosie. Wow, thirteen years. Good on you and well done for all those ‘wins!’ Thanks for the buddy invite and I’ve sent a request. It’s good to meet you! 🙂

  6. It’s a good way to push yourself. I thought about taking part this year, but I’m too close to the end if my WIP to stop now.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/11/2022 — 2:50 am

      Hi pjmaclayne. Due to illness, I haven’t done much writing this year. It’s a good motivator, which is really why I’m participating. Best of luck with your WIP! You’ve got this! 🙂

  7. Best wishes for your November and NaNo. If I tried to write 50k in a month, I’d expect a steaming pile, too! Reworking an existing project sounds more manageable. Hope it goes well!

    1. Debbie Johansson 10/11/2022 — 1:49 am

      Thank you, Liza. I’m progressing slowly (I won’t reach the 50k), but it is definitely more manageable this way. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  8. Sounds like you have everything in place and are ready to rock!
    I stare at a computer screen all day so I understand it can give you a headache to stare at it for a long time.

    1. Debbie Johansson 04/11/2022 — 6:51 am

      Thank you, Alex. I’m hoping this time I’ve got all my bases covered. 😉

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