Why I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo

I think that the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a great idea, but I won’t be participating this time around.

It’s just that I simply do not have the time to do it this year. Nor did I have time to do it last year. I’m in the last stages of completing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and only have this month to get everything finished and submitted. I finished the course work earlier in the year. Now I’m working on my thesis paper, a 40,000 word novel for children. My novel writing month was spread over about six weeks in August and September.¬† That’s when the pressure was on for me.

Now I’m busy with rewriting, editing, revising and proofreading. It’s a tedious job but one that must be attended to with meticulous care if I want to stand a chance of being awarded my degree. After that I will be submitting the manuscript to publishers so it will be time well spent.

The NaNoWriMo concept is a good one. It’s main strength as I see it is to motivate people to get the novel they’ve been wanting to write for so many years and actually do something other than talk about it. Then there’s the incentive of having hundreds of other¬† people doing the same thing around the globe at the same time which results in a certain momentum being built up. It’s like being caught in the surge of a crowd of people, or catching a great surfing wave. It just carries you along and builds an energy from within.

If you are participating – good writing.

May you eventually recover from the inevitable  lack of sleep.

For more information about NaNoWriMo click here.


5 Responses to “Why I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo”

  1. Ken Rolph says:

    Why do you find it necessary to say this? Do you think there is some reason all writers should take part in some American-style mass movement?

  2. Trevor says:

    Careful Ken – your cynicism is showing.

    I think you may have missed the point of this post on my blog. I was, in part, bucking the trend. Many of my American (and some Australian) readers are participating in the movement. I wanted to encourage them, that’s all.

    People like myself don’t need gimmicks like NaNoWriMo to motivate them; we write because we want to and we write because we have something to say. Added to that is my Christian world-view in that I believe I’ve been called to write.

    Relevant in this scenario is the result of an American survey a few years ago. A staggering 82% of Americans claimed that they plan to write a book “someday.” It is also staggeringly ironic that only 15% of Americans actually buy at least one book per year. (I’ll hazard a guess here: even less than 15% actually read one!)

    If I can encourage one – or a dozen or more – to actually start writing a novel, then I’ve achieved my aim. They will be better people for attempting. It takes persistence, patience and self-discipline – among many other things. All character building stuff. All societies need that. The facts are that far less than 1% of the population will participate. Of those that do possibly 25% will actually finish (I’m guessing here). Of those that finish only a small percent will rewrite and edit it, fewer will actually submit it to a publisher and then… well, you do the maths.

    There is a darker side to my post about NANoWriMo.

    Shameless self promotion.

    As I said, I have many American readers. Last month I had 9000 readers visit this blog, one third of them from the USA. I linked to this post about NaNoWriMo from both Twitter and Facebook in order to attract more readers. As I said, shameless self promotion. Sadly, it is what one needs to do these days to ‘play the game’.

  3. abfabvet says:

    Hey Trevor,
    You came up third in a Google search. I was ‘grazing’ on the net, looking for info on refining the internal ‘thesis’ of my novel, and there you were. Just had to say G’day!

  4. Trevor says:

    Thanks for this Sue,

    It sometimes surprises me – and delights me too – how often my blog posts come up on the first page of Google searches. All the hard work of writing on my blogs over the last 4 years is paying off. Getting to the first page of Google is the aim of every serious blogger and means you are doing something right – like writing what people are searching for.

    As I said to you recently, this particularly happens on my birding blog. Many readers have stated that they searched the internet on a particular bird or topic and my blog not only came at the top of Google search but was the ONLY site they could find out anything. That really appeals to the teacher in me as educating the general public is one of my aims. It also encourages reader loyalty – if they are helped once they are more likely to return many times. All good for traffic – and ultimately income.

  5. Paul Arnott says:

    Hi Trevor

    I’m trying to track down Ken Rolph. Would you happen to have a email address for him?


    Paul Arnott.