NaNoWriMo Vs. 30 Hubs in 30 Days

Writing a Novel in 30 Days

In 2006, I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot? No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. This is the book that inspired the creation of NaNoWriMo. Check out NaNoWriMo.org to learn more about this fast-paced national novel-writing craze.

The book is inspiring, to say the least. By the end of it, I thought, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ So I did. I dedicated 30 days of my life (in August, though, not November. November never does work out for me as a good month to write - too much holiday/family stuff going on - and I always - ALWAYS get sick during the month of November and never have enough energy to do anything) to finally completing a novel.

Writing 30 Hubs in 30 Days

At the end of this past March, I heard about the HubPages writing contest and the concurrent 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge for the month of April. Once again I thought, ‘Hey, I can do that.’

I was instantly reminded of my 30-day novel writing experience, so I thought, for my 30th hub (which is actually being published on Day 32 - not Day 30), I would write a hub comparing the 2 experiences. This is how they measure up.

1: Number of Words Per Day

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to have, at the end of 30 days, 50,000 words of your novel completed. You will not have a complete novel (i.e., the novel will not be as polished as you can possibly make it), but you will have a complete story (i.e., a beginning, middle, and end). For this to occur, you have to write at least 1667 words per day.

By the time I finished my 30 days of novel writing in August of 2006, I had 60,000 words done, so that averages out to 2000 words per day.

Summing up all the words for the 30 Hubs Challenge, including this one, I’ve written a little under 26,550 words. That averages out to about 885 words per day.

That’s a pretty decent word count for hubs. But why did I write half the number of words per day hubbing compared to when I was writing my novel? There are a few reasons that I can think of.

2: Amount of Focus

With my 30-day novel-writing experience, I had a good idea what I was going to write. I’d outlined the whole plot beforehand and used that outline when I was writing the novel. Sometimes I would deviate from the outline - when my characters began to take charge of their own actions, and that’s when the real fun started.

I didn’t have that much focus with the 30 days of hubbing. I didn’t have a single outline I was working from. I didn’t even have multiple outlines. I just came up with a few ideas and began writing. My 30 hubs covered a lot of different topics: my daughter’s favorite things; recipes, celebrities, genealogy, pest extermination, pets, and even financial things, like stock picking (my husband’s contribution since he likes to use my HubPages account from time to time to publish things that interest him).

I think the 30-day hub challenge would have been a lot easier for me to complete had I stuck to one topic and written 30 hubs about that one topic. Now, I don’t really know how easy it would have been to do that, but maybe I’ll try that the next time I attempt to do a 30-day hub challenge. Maybe I’ll do the 100 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge next?? Um, maybe not!

3: Personal Life Changes

In 2006, I was not married and I didn’t have any children. So, I had more time to write. I could block out whole Saturday mornings and afternoons to devote only to my novel.

I could not do that with this hub challenge because now I have a husband and two daughters - a two-year-old and a six-month-old. My Saturday mornings and afternoons are no longer my own. Sometimes I’ll wake up much earlier than anyone else in the family, and that’s when I take the time to write my hubs. But it doesn’t always work out.

4: Differences in Readership

Considering I self-published my novel on Lulu.com and didn't promote it heavily, not many people have read it. When I read it again after publishing, I didn’t think it was very good, so I don’t really encourage people to read it. I might go back and fix things up later to try to make it better. Then I won’t have to be so embarrassed by it.

My hubs, I’m glad to say, do get read. And, for the most part, I’m pretty proud of them and think that they do offer something of value to whoever reads them. I’ve gotten great feedback about so many of my hubs from so many other great hubbers. I'm really grateful for this community and am glad I found it!

So, Which Is Easier?

Overall, I’d have to say that writing a novel in 30 days was a whole lot easier than writing 30 hubs in 30 days.

But, like I mentioned, my life circumstances have changed dramatically since I wrote that novel in 30 days. So I wonder if, given the way things are now, it would still be easier to write a novel. I might just have to give it a try. I have a couple of novel ideas going in the back of my head. I should probably put them down on paper at some point.

For now, though, I think I’ll just concentrate on promoting all the hubs I just wrote for this challenge, even though it did take me a little longer than 30 days to complete.

Comments 10 comments

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Good for you for taking the NaNo challenge, something I have attempted a couple times myself. I agree, Nov. is a bad month to try to devote the time to writing every day.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! I did the nano one year and got to 32,000 words-there were two very bad w/e's : Thanks giving and a spiritual retreat--that interfered. I agree with you and Danette-November is horrible. I have suggested they move it to February (after the holidays, cabin fever, boredom before spring, etc etc) but so far THEY HAVEN'T LISTENED TO ME!! LOL.

I'm amazed that you think the 30 hubs is more difficult. I think they are both challenging. I have finished the 30 hubchallenge in January of this year and in April was 8 short. I'm back to it this month of May.

Take care. Happy Writing no matter what you do...


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks, Danette. It's not easy, to say the least - and especially not in that month. I will never understand why they picked that one!

Hi, Denise. Even September, I think, would be better for me than November. One of the things that was so hard for me with the 30 Hubs Challenge was the polishing. Everything had to be (almost) completely polished and ready to publish. With the novel-writing, you're supposed to turn your "inner editor" off, so the words just flow out freely - no matter how much garbage comes out. That's why it was easier for me, although not necessarily better. Maybe I should've mentioned that in this hub, too! :-)

Good luck with the May Hub Challenge. I haven't written anything this whole first week! :-(


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Just read your response. OMG I failed miserably at the May Hubchallenge--too much going on in my 'other' life. Take care and keep on writing!


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

LOL. Denise! I didn't write anything for about 3 weeks after the April hub challenge. I'm thinking about trying again for June, though. Maybe!


PiaC profile image

PiaC 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

Thanks for this great Hub! I am determined to participate in the NaNoWriMo this November and knowing that you've participated in it gives me a great deal of hope that I can perhaps do it too! I've written one novel - the first draft of which took me about 6 months, so getting it done in a month feels challenging - though in a very good way!


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, Pia. Thank you. Your comment has inspired me to give it a try again. I don't think I can wait for November, though, so I'm going to dedicate the month of August. August seems to work better for me, anyway. It's MyNoWriMo! :-) I might try to do NaNoWriMo again. We'll see how it goes this year. Good luck to you!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Very interesting read. I am doing the NaNoWriMo for the first time, but started on day three. For me so far, I think it was easier to do the 30 in 30. The novel is my first time to write fiction, so it's difficult to get the creative juices flowing. Glad to run across this.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks, homesteadbound. Glad you enjoyed it. Wishing you a fun-filled, unblocked NaNoWriMo!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

This is a great comparison between the two. I agree that November seems like a strange month to be trying a big challenge like this one.

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