The Obligatory Piece Where I Talk About Doing Nanowrimo… But Not Really


Okay I know we’re already a bit into November so it’s a bit late to talk about my plans for Nano, but my organisation skills are the BOMB (okay, they suck, but whatever) As you might be able to tell I’m sort of doing Nano this year… Well I’m doing what I do most years- which is to set myself an easier target and write my little heart out 😉 . This year though, I did have a bit more of an internal wrestle over whether I should try and win Nano for reelz (spoiler alert: that’s not what I decided to do 😉 ). Here’s where my thought process was at…

Reasons to do Nano:

  • What a great month to write! I mean it’s miserable out and I want to be indoors as much as possible. Plus I’m not in uni anymore so I’ve not got the excuse of deadlines as I did in previous years.
  • I’ve got a ton of writing to do– so I may as well go bananas with it. I really want to finish my damn trilogy. I first conceived of this idea *7 whole years ago*. I was writing something else at that time and had lots of mishaps in between… but now I’m finally on book 3 (yay!)
  • All of the lovely motivational people online!! There’s just so many great writing posts about during Nano that I’m being totally conformist *ahem* I’m feeling inspired.
  • It’s very satisfying to set yourself a goal and then complete it– especially when it comes to writing!

Reasons not to do Nano:

  • Buuut I edit a lot as I go (I know *shock horror*- don’t worry, I edit after as well) so 50000 words is not really doable if I’m gonna end up writing a lot of it twice.
  • I’m fairly consistent with my writing, fortunately, BUT I’ve never written more than c20000 words in a month– more than that just doesn’t seem terribly doable to me.
  • Plus I *never* use word count goals– they just don’t work for me- I tend to count chapters instead
  • It can be completely draining to write this series– honestly, my characters do shitty things and living with the consequences of their actions can be pretty exhausting (yes, I talk about them like they’re real- I’m totally sane 😉 )
  • Doing a more casual version of Nano has worked for me in the past– last year for instance I decided to edit an old novel AND I DID IT! (which brings me back to how satisfying it is to complete a goal)

So I’m compromising!

My goal is to write to chapter 28- which considering I was already at chapter 9 before the month should be both doable and a challenge (also since this is the beginning of the book, I’ve a few nice, short set up chapters that I can whizz through- don’t think I didn’t know what I was doing when I set myself this target 😉 ) Currently, I’m on 16 and to be honest right now even this target might be a little out of reach- we’ll see how this goes!

Anyhoo- are any of you participating in Nano? Do you write in general? Let me know in the comments!


71 thoughts on “The Obligatory Piece Where I Talk About Doing Nanowrimo… But Not Really

  1. J.W. Martin says:

    I NaNo. I write all year long, but I always make sure to have something new to start in November. And so far, I’m on target. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    I think your idea of setting a goal that flexes to your strength and style is smart. Rather than getting frustrated by a goal that just doesn’t work for you. Kudos on that. 20,000 words (or whatever it ends being) is a lot more than the person who decided to do nothing!

    I haven’t been following your blog for a long time, so can I ask what your trilogy is about?

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah brilliant- I’m really impressed that you do it every year (and work the rest of the year too)- good luck!

      Thank you very much!! 😊 I’m glad you like the idea and that’s very kind of you!!

      hehe that’s alright, I don’t actually talk about it, cos it’s a WIP, it’s dystopic fantasy 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. dragonsandzombies says:

    I don’t write myself, but my best friend does and has been participating in Nano for a couple of years now 🙂 I really do like the concept – how it brings fellow writers together and you can motivate each other. She is always really excited about it and that’s great to see!

    More people writing – more good books for me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Cozy Pages says:

    Of course you’re totally sane. Your characters very real! You end up spending enough time with them 🙂
    Wish I could have participated this year but I’ve got way too much going on.
    At least all the genuine support coming out of NaNo is amazing. All the best with YOUR goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nel says:

    I don’t write but I do love seeing everyone cheer each other on. Did you graduate?? Anyway, hearing that you have a trilogy is quite awesome and I hope one day you’ll unleash your works on us public peons cause I’d be quite interested in reading anything you write. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bookstooge says:

    You know how I feel about indie authors, so I love Nano Month. Because I get to read post after post of indie authors writhing in self-tortured agony. I warms my cold heart 😀

    I like to write. Journalling, blogging, that type of writing. But it is a short goal. One post. 2 days of events in a journal. More than that and I burn right out. I’ve written posts pretty regularly for the last 3 weeks [18 or 19 posts in 22’ish days] and I’m feeling it this week. I’m going to be lucky to even write a review for the book I finished last week 🙂 So something like Nano would be pure torture.

    Have fun writhing though! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hahahaha that sounds about right 😂😂
      That’s awesome 😀 That’s fair enough- I can really relate- I’ve been pretty it pretty hard for a few weeks now and I’m feeling a burnout coming on… perhaps Nano’s not as well timed as I thought 😉
      Thank you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Adrienne Morris says:

    I think about it every year, but I tend to be someone who sets too many goals that can never be accomplished all at once. Then I feel bad about it. I have a love/hate relationship with lists and such. Writing is my one favorite thing so I don’t want to ruin it by letting my perfectionist gene take over.

    Good luck to you, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ahh I can really relate to that! I was reading someone else’s post about nano being a good way to learn to meet deadlines and such, and while I could understand where they were coming from, I just thought that did make it sound less fun 😉
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. aceshadowdragon says:

    I skipped NaNo last year, due to returning to school, and this year I’m still in school…but I decided to do it anyway. However, I haven’t gotten much accomplished. I think I’ve written…200 words? Give or take. It’s hard for me to sit down and just spit out paragraph after paragraph. I’ll get random ideas at random times so sitting and making myself write doesn’t always work for me. Hopefully I’ll find some time to just vomit some words out here and there this month… xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah I get that. When I had school I had to give it a miss- there just wasn’t any way I could do it. And I can really relate to that- I’ve had times when my word count for the day is just 50, and I’m the same when it comes to that. I think you’ve just got to do what you can. Best of luck though! Hope you manage to put some more words to the page, no matter how many that may be 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

    NaNo honestly sounds like a wonderful dedicated month for writers to truly focus and pour their hearts onto paper, but man does it also feel like extreme pressure, stress and torture! 😛 But with your formidable writing skills and love for literature, I’m sure you’ll be able to make the most out of the event. 😉 Best of luck and hope you’ll be satisfied with the results by the end of the month!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mathangi says:

    What’s the point in rules if you can’t bend them a little? 😀 Good luck with your book!! I’m sure you’ll reach your goal easily!
    and me, I’m doing the world a favour by *not* writing fiction, and I plan to keep it that way. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Charlotte says:

    It does feel great when you complete a goal you set for yourself! But you saw from my post that I’m not aiming for 50,000 words either, so I think there’s heaps of people like us who find it challenging to ‘win’ NaNo. GOOD LUCK!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. camilleareads says:

    I joined NaNo this month because I wanted to, sort of, move away for a bit from a novel I was working on. So, I took up an old idea and new genre. As I write this, it’s raining heavily outside, so a perfect weather for staying cozied up and focusing on writing. I find your goal more doable and less intimidating, tbh! What’s your novel about?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. daleydowning says:

    Around Oct. 25th I was determined to finish NaNo in a week. Now we’re on Day 9 and I’m at 11,000 words. And totally okay with it, since I’m also completing my edits for Volume 2 and raising children at the same time. So if I finish before Thanksgiving, I’ll be happy. I’ve been making steady progress, so that’s the main thing for me.

    You’re right, if it takes too long to finish at least a revised draft, the whole project starts to feel more like a burden! And writing novels is a choice, it’s not like being a clerk at a shop purely so we can pay the bills. This is one of those occupations we’re supposed to undertake because we have passion for it!

    Good luck with all your plans! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Well that sounds like loads to me!!! And yeah you have so much on your plate- I’m always amazed at how you do it all!

      Yes for sure. I think also for me, if I didn’t write consistently every month, I’d be more concerned about putting all my eggs into one basket and then I think I’d want to compete for Nano properly- but since I know I can write in other months as well, and go at a more steady pace, I don’t think it’d be too wise to put myself under that amount of pressure.

      Thank you!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Marie says:

    Ahah I love this thought process – I could so relate to the “reasons to do it” part here. It’s fantastic to see the writing community all together for that event, cheering each other on, having fun and telling their stories. It’s crazy and so much fun to see that, even more to be a part of it.
    BEst of luck for your plans,, I hope you’ll have fun! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I’m taking part in NaNo this year, for the first time in a couple of years, and I get what you mean because I edit as I go and I can’t get myself out of that mindset so I am pretty much writing everything twice. Still I’m determined to reach that 50K word goal! 🙂
    Good luck with your goal, I hope you manage to make it to chapter 28 of your WIP. Also wow seven years of writing your trilogy is a long time, but imagine the sense of achievement you’ll feel when you finish it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    Haha I totally understand all of this – I often only decide whether I’m doing nano or not once it’s already November. And I also often make alternate goals (eg I am trying to edit a book rather than write one now – similar to what you did last year – so word goals don’t really work for that). Next year I am tempted to write something new and finally do 50K in a month… but we’ll see. Anyway, I think you’ve got a good approach by setting personally useful and achievable goals for your writing style. And congrats on being on the third book already – impressive to have almost finished a trilogy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      haha I’m glad I’m not the only one with this!! Yes- that’s such a good goal for nano- and I really hope it works for you- it was actually one of the better goals I’ve had for a month cos it is doable and it’s easy to divide up. Ah that’ll be brilliant- good luck if you do decide to give that a go. Thank you so much!! haha thanks!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    YOU GO!!! I hope you make it to chapter 28!! It’s so hard to just get it down on the paper so whatever helps you Orangutan ❤ I am bowing out as I don't need any more stress in my life… I have however made some humble goals to get to a certain spot by the end of the month! *crossing fingers*

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!! I know right!! Thank you so much!! Ah I can totally relate- one of the main reasons I don’t like to do it properly is that I can’t do that level of stress, but sometimes it helps to have a target. And I think that’s really great!! ❤


  17. thesarahdoughty says:

    I agree with word count goals. When I plan, I plot the scenes, usually in sets of 3. An optimal daily goal would be to write one set. Whatever the ending word count is is whatever it is. Luckily my books end up on the longer side, but I feel it’s a good standard for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. JN Sheeks says:

    I’m doing NaNo and it’s been so hard not to go back and edit. But somehow I’ve managed it and I’m going to break 20k. I’m scared by how much editing I’ll have but it’s keeping us actually writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    Good luck with your goal! 😀 I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo, even though I would really love to do it. But November is one of the busiest months for me, I have so many projects and exams to do for university and would literary have no time left to write. So sadly I’m not taking part this year, but maybe next year I will have more time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. LizScanlon says:

    I like the sound of your compromise… with your skills and talent, I am sure whatever the outcome is by the end of the month it will be something you can be satisfied with…
    I have so many writing ideas myself that I have bits of characters and events and settings littering my computer but I don’t think I’m cut out to be a writer… You on the other hand? You can totally smash it and I eagerly await the day when I get to read your books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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