ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Do You Need Five Reasons Not To Do NaNoWriMo? Try These!

Updated on October 15, 2015

Too Many Books?

Creative Commons license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Creative Commons license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) | Source

You already know all about NaNoWriMo, right?

Do I need to explain the concept or something? (Well, apparently for some people it's still a new concept. I'm going by the mate who called me up recently in order to tell me all about this exciting new writing competition! It's held in November! And everybody who writes a 50k word manuscript wins! Well, a phrase involving Sherlock and not relating to the BBC production springs to mind.)

But is doing NaNoWriMo really a good idea? What off-putting notions (or excuses) do you need to ponder, before putting hands to keyboard?

Can You Spare The Time?

Everything you spend on has an opportunity cost – ask any economist. What does this mean? Well, basically, when you're expending on one thing – whether it's time or money or little dried chickpeas (humour me) – then, once you've acquired your objective, the resource you expended to get it is gone. Gone! Not coming back! And you can't use it to buy a goat, a salt herring, a holiday in Rekjavik, nothing, nada, baby.

So the time you spend on entering NaNoWriMo... yeah, you got it, baby. That's time that's never coming back. Is it the very best use of a finite resource?

Are You Going To Get Published?

Of course, not all – maybe precious few – of the entrants in NaNoWriMo expect to get published, or to win an actual glittering prize beyond the excitement of actually making it to the finishing line with their 50,000 words stashed away in an OpenOffice file.

But let's get real. There's a difference between expecting something – and maybe hoping for it. And it's natural for any writer to hope for that final validation of all their effort and struggle and sweated labour. Isn't it? But you're too smart to rely on it. And even if it happens – is NaNoWriMo a necessary part of your route towards publication? Think about it: you could produce a manuscript all on your own, at times and on a schedule convenient to you, and perhaps with rather less of the old sweat and tears.

Sure, some NaNoWriMo entrants have wound up with a professionally published novel to their name. Even in 2009, the figure was put at thirty-six of them, by L. Barack in the School Library Jounal.1 But think of how many NaNoWriMo entrants there are per year! It's a drop in a bucket, if not a drop in the ocean!

Does it land your manuscript with the amateur label?

Is there a stigma to the NaNo novel? Certainly there have been suggestions to that effect. Some publishers have reported a flood of submissions descending in a deluge, from shortly after the closure of the competition. Are all of these manuscripts going to be of publishable quality? Well, are most of most publishing piles of publishable quality? (And God knows, now that self-publishing has gone semi-respectable, and Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Barnes & Noble etc etc etc are welcoming the self-pubbing hordes with open arms, the little bucket of NaNoWriMo manuscripts is positively dwarfed, in comparison to the great big ocean of SP novels.)

Buy Books On Novel Writing On Amazon


Public domain image.
Public domain image. | Source

Will it actually worsen the quality of your writing?

There's truth in the notion that it's better to have a manuscript to tinker with and perfect, rather than being stuck forever in the frozen anticipation of committing the perfect sentence to paper.

There's also no denying that producing a 50,000 word novel, in the space of 31 days, is a tall order. Editing isn't the point of NaNoWriMo, it's quite true. But it could still be argued that at such a rate of production of words, words, words, then the quality of those words must suffer – even if we're talking about a rough first draft.

Will you become a hermit for a month?

Well, really, this one is a given. Certainly the great aspect of NaNoWriMo is the social and community element that it affords. For many would-be writers, writing is a solitary, and maybe even a lonely experience. NaNoWriMo, though, offers encouragement and companionship – even cheering from the sidelines – galore, as you plough your way through words after words after words, in your attempt to reach that mythical fifty thousand word goal before day thirty hits you like a steam train.

But! There's more to life (and social life) than that which can be found on the interwebs! And what happens to your family and friends, while you're stuck in your hovel, relishing the literary life of a shut-in for a full month?

Well. I suppose they'll still be there when you come back. Won't they?

So, in conclusion... should you do NaNoWriMo or not? Hell if I know... but if you want to, why the hell would you hold back? What do old sourpusses who try to take the joy out of it know? If the prospect of a month's worth of over-caffeination, sleep-deprivation and a threateningly looming deadline appeals to you – along with your own cheerleading team going 'Yay you! Yay you!' from start to finish – then hell yes!

Don't tell anyone. I'm thinking about doing NaNo next year...


1. L Barack, Pen Ultimate: For Kids Who Take Part in National Novel Writing Month--the Acid Test for Would-Be Authors--It's No Guts, No Glory. School Library Journal, Volume 55 Issue 9 pp. 40-41. September 2009.

Does Everyone Have A Novel In Them?

Do you yearn to write a book?

See results



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rickyvallon profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks! I'm still holding off: just too time-consuming...

    • Eric Mikols profile image

      Eric Mikols 

      6 years ago from New England

      Those are some pretty good reasons. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month for the first time, so I guess I'll see how I feel at the end of the month.

      Nice Hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)