20 Reasons Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

So as you may have suspected, I’m not participating in National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo, for short – this year. Normally I write at least one post in the months leading up to Nano, filled with character ideas and plot synopses and thoughts on how I’m going to tackle that particular year’s wordcount goal.

But I didn’t do that this year, and some of you noticed. HERE IS WHY I’M NOT DOING NANO.


My biggest project for Creative Writing class – a seven-to-fifteen page short story – is due tomorrow, and I’ve been working on it these past few weeks. Frantic, intense writing? BUT I JUST DID THAT.


My short story has to be revised, and the new version turned in by the end of the semester, so I’ll probably work on that over Thanksgiving break.


I don’t have any great ideas for NaNo this year. I kind of used them up in that short story.


I want to use my free time for blogging!


And reading!


And spending time with my friends!


And time to just… to just be, you know? Time to daydream and go for aimless walks and reorganize the drawings and glittery postcards/birthday cards on my bulletin board, and whatnot. Time for doing nothing much important – time to de-stress.


College makes me super freaking exhausted and I don’t need a reason to stay up any later than I already do.


Come to think of it, I should probably use some of that free time for napping.


I’m already stressed; I don’t need any more stress.


I have two major writing projects for City of Literature due towards the end of November.


And a major paper for Intro to GWSS.


and a paper for Superheroes Unleashed.


Guess what?! I have a paper due for Media History & Culture as well.


And another midterm for that class. It’s in less than a week. My mind has been consumed with studying and NOT with thinking of ideas for NaNo.


Also, homework is a thing.


I want to go home for Thanksgiving break and just relax – read for fun, watch Netflix and maybe a movie or two, go for walks, catch up with my friends back home, et cetera. I really don’t want to bury myself in writing a novel (or a series of short stories, which I’ve done before as well) this year. I want to enjoy my break.


I just have no motivation for NaNo this year.


NaNo-ing hasn’t even been that enjoyable these past few years: I feel like I have to do it, like it’s almost a compulsion or something, like I’m a failure if I don’t participate AND win. And that’s just not true. I need to learn to ignore that nagging little feeling that I can only be a good teen writer if I do NaNo.


I have never liked the stories I wrote during NaNo (or Script Frenzy, or Camp NaNoWriMo) nearly as much as I like the stories I write outside of NaNo. I need to stop fooling myself into thinking that I write well under that kind of pressure, because I don’t.


Deciding not to do NaNoWriMo is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made this year – or in a while. As you can see, I’m just not feeling super pumped about it, and I’m incredibly busy with stuff I HAVE to do (like school). And as I said in #18, I need to get over this feeling that participating in NaNo automatically makes me a better writer, because it doesn’t.

…honestly, I think choosing not to do NaNo in 2015 was a very mature decision. This choice was neither easy nor quick. I thought about it a lot in September and October. I weighed my options. I realized that it would be nearly impossible for me to go to class, keep my grades up, do NaNo, get enough sleep, hang out with friends, and find enough time for other interests like reading and blogging. That would be exhausting, and not in my best interests either.

I would love to do NaNoWriMo again someday, and perhaps even while still in college – I think my sophomore year might be the perfect time to do it. I’ll be better at juggling academics with interests like reading, writing, and blogging, and hopefully I’ll have made more connections to the writing community here, so I can go to write-ins at coffee shops and whatnot. And I won’t be busy with internships / job-hunting / writing my honors thesis / grad school apps, either – those will all happen during junior and senior years!

So, yeah. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I really wanted to, but I also realized it wouldn’t be a good idea, and honestly the only reason I thought about doing NaNo was to say that I’d done it five years in a row.

If you’re not doing NaNo either, come and join me in this little corner of the bloggy world. I’ll even give you virtual hot chocolate or tea and blankets, and we can commiserate about how many other things are happening in our lives that made participating in (let alone completing) NaNo impossible this year.

And to those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo – good luck!

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20 Responses to 20 Reasons Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

  1. Miriam Joy says:

    There’s absolutely no reason to do NaNo if you don’t enjoy it and it isn’t fun for you, and anyone who suggests otherwise is silly. NaNo’s incredibly subjective — for some, 50k is a huge challenge that really pushes them. For me, it isn’t, but I love the community there. I take part for different reasons every year, but none of them because I feel like I have to. Don’t feel bad about opting not to take part. πŸ™‚

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, for me it just stresses me out to the point where I end up crying because I’m so frustrated. This wasn’t the case the first few years I did NaNo, but I probably SHOULDN’T have done it my senior year of high school, because there was just too much on my plate and trying to juggle that with schoolwork, extracurriculars, reading, blogging, etc, just got to be too much. Thanks for the reassurance. πŸ™‚

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I totally agree that’s a mature decision! AND plus, I don’t think doing or not doing NaNo makes any difference to whether one is a “real writer” or not. Working under pressure can suuuuuck. I don’t like it. But I’m okay with NaNo because I write fast naturally, hehhh. But I’m always terrified the book won’t COME for November, you know? Because usually I write when the book is ready, not when the month is. πŸ˜› But last year was so much fun for me, so I’m probably going to be a regular NaNoer from now on. *nods* I like knowing that there are a ton of people across the world writing at the same time. IT’S JUST COOL SOMEHOW.

    (Also I think taking time to just be is incredibly important. GO YOU. Don’t ever forget to do that!!)

    • nevillegirl says:

      GOOD LUCK, CAIT! πŸ˜€

      Ehehe, I don’t naturally write fast, and I have a bad habit of editing while I write, or being too afraid of putting any words down on paper (or, well, the screen… I suppose) in case they’re not the right ones, but that’s not really in the spirit of NaNoWriMo! I have a hard time just letting go and writing whatever, and editing only after I’m done with the first draft. :/

  3. EXCELLENT IDEA. And besides, NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone – I know I work well under pressure and I enjoy the fast writing process, but it makes sense to take more time because that’s not, you know, crazy. Good luck with all of your college assignments!!! I BELIEVE IN YOU ❀

  4. Doing the write a novel-n a month thing really helped me to get my ideas out in June. But I don’t want to have to do it. I have a major Ap Language paper in the next few weeks, and two music exams (don’t talk to me about sight singing) and a trip to dehli for three days and I also want to write some short stories and school newspaper editor duties and like you said, time to read and sleep and practice and relax. It is totally okay not to do Nano πŸ™‚ (and that novel I wrote back in June could really do with at least first round edits) but the shiny ideas beckon and I WILL RESIST.

  5. F says:

    I can relate to this post, even though I’ve never done NaNo.. I intended to do it this year because I was under the false impression that I’d have a lot more free time than in previous years, but nobody told me how much time cooking/cleaning/shopping/organizing/other adulting for myself would be so time-consuming! I’m also doing an internship and trying to be more social, so it’s enough of a struggle to fit study-time into my day πŸ˜›

    Good luck with all your assignments! πŸ™‚

    • nevillegirl says:

      College is just so overwhelming, isn’t it?! It’s amazing how much of a timesuck studying can be, even when I’m being as efficient as I can. Pffft, a lot of my social time is also study time now – I meet up with my friends to study for tests and stuff.

      Thank you, and good luck to you too! πŸ™‚

  6. moosha23 says:

    I’m in sort of the same place as you. When I decided to do NaNo last year I was in the midst of all my pre mock-exam preparations and the stress of having to write as well as having to study for my crucial exams just basically knocked me over. I ended up half-assing both my exams and the NaNoWriMo story.
    This year I’ve firmly decided not to go for it even though that nagging feeling was telling me to do it and get a win and do it for ten years consecutively and win all of those and just BADGE EM ALL simply because A-levels is a whole other kettle of fish (why do people say that? That is a weird phrase…hmm) and like you’ve stated studying has taken over my life.
    And so, I want to ask you a crucial, crucial question: how are you still blogging with all that? And I ask this in the most student-to-teacher way because seriously I need help with trying to blog AND deal with my crazy student life.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I know, right? I knew that if I did NaNo this year, I’d end up half-assing all my responsibilities, and I REALLY didn’t want to do that.

      Good luck with your A-levels! πŸ™‚

      Mostly I just write and schedule blog posts whenever I have a spare moment? And write down ALL OF MY IDEAS for future blog posts so that I’ll never run out of them and have to waste time thinking of one (of course, sometimes I can’t decide which one to choose!) and mostly I just write posts as quickly as I can? Ehehe, maybe I should write a blog post about how to maintain a blog in college…

    • nevillegirl says:

      I’ll write one soon(ish), then! πŸ˜€

  7. I opted out of NaNo this year, too, and I’m glad I did. Like you, I knew trying to participate would make me do a bad job at EVERYTHING, and I am also unable to start without finishing. I tend to take a year off between NaNo-ing, so this would have been an “off” year, anyway. But I remained tempted throughout September and October and even had some ideas I wanted to play with. But my Disney blogging project has taken much longer than I thought it would, and I can’t really squeeze in another writing project with a looming deadline when my Disney deadlines loom every week. Next year!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Hmmm, that’s actually a great idea – doing NaNo every other year! I might try that in the future.

      • I tell people it’s because it takes me a whole year to recover … which is pretty much not a joke. Also, When I write a novel in a month it takes me upwards of 2 years to revise, so … but I still love NaNo because I hate writing first drafts (I’m more of a reviser), and it allows me to get that “unpleasant” part done with quickly, and in community to boot!

    • nevillegirl says:

      That’s true – I’m never done editing last year’s novel by the time the next NaNoWriMo rolls around! πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Thoughts On (Not) Doing NaNoWriMo In 2015 | Musings From Neville's Navel

  9. Pingback: Quarterly Rewind, Fall 2015 – Classes, “Star Wars,” & Comic Books | Musings From Neville's Navel

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