Does NaNoWriMo make sense for me or not?

I’d love to get involved with the NaNoWriMo challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days, but I’m not sure it’s right for me.


I’m almost finished with the first run through of my revisions based on my beta readers’ comments on my existing novel and plan to be complete in time to start the challenge on November 1. However, I don’t know if making major revisions and rewrites rather than writing a new novel qualifies. I know the warning not to edit as we write makes a huge amount of sense and definitely slows down our writing. Take my advice for those of you in the challenge. Just keep you fingers moving. Don’t stop to think. Just write.

However, my situation is totally different. I’ve already written my first draft and even spent hours and hours revising and editing it. Now it’s ready for another major revision. As I’ve marked up my hard copy with my yellow marker and red pen, I’ve identified places to cut, to add, to rearrange, to carry through a whole slew of threads, and to incorporate new edits. But of course I wouldn’t be working on a new novel.

NaNoWriMo 2.jpgI do have a choice. I could set aside this novel and start another one during NaNoWriMo, but I fear that would interrupt the momentum of my revision process. Plus, truth be told I don’t have an idea for a new novel. I could also work on my revisions daily and meet the goal of completing 50,000 words by the end of November. Or I could just drop out of the competition and carry on without all the fun and pressure of a deadline and encouragement.

That’s what I like about the NaNoWriMo concept. Everyone really is working together and getting support from our fellow authors as they write everyday to complete their goal. I’d like to take part, but still have my misgivings.

As the NaNoWriMo website says, It’s about “valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”

What do you think?


  1. It doesn’t sound as if you have an overwhelming urge to write a new book or an idea that has you bursting to get it written. So why consider going ahead with Nanowrimo? You’re currently working on a novel and have received comments/critiques from your beta readers, so that is what you should be doing.
    The same as you I’d love to take up the Nanowrimo challenge if only to prove to myself that I can write a reasonably decent first draft in one month. But I need to finish my novel more – it’s been years in the making – and not start another project that may distance me from my current one.
    Better luck another year!

  2. Madeline Sharples says:

    Thanks, Penny. I’ve pretty much decided I won’t join the challenge. Great getting your feedback. I only considered it because i heard that some folk do participate as revisers instead of writers.
    Good luck on your book too. xo

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