Every November, writers across the globe participate in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. My boss says, “Yeah, but are the fifty thousand words any good?” implying that writing fifty thousand words in a month means somehow the quality is bad. But people all over, myself included, write it anyway.


Well, I can’t tell you why Mbute in Nigeria does it, but I can tell you why I do it. So here, without varnish, are thirteen rebuttals to my boss, the NaNoHater:

1. Most people never finish a novel, even though they say “I’d like to write a novel.” I don’t want to be one of those people.

2. Writing fast gets you onto the page, past the Critic.

3. Writing more is preferable to writing less.

4. Writing 1,667 words a day is good practice for life. It teaches that slow and steady wins the race, and that we can create without drama.

5. Writers aren’t all drunk, disorderly, and undisciplined. Some of us, many of us, are much like marathon runners.

6. People thought the first woman to finish a marathon was nuts too. And the woman who finished last in the 1984 Olympics, staggering across the line, people though she was nuts. But she did it, anyway, in spite of all that.

7. Writing fast and nuts is fun and contagious, which is why people band together to do it.

8. There is strength in numbers. Writing with thousands of other nuts people is electrifying.

9. It feels good to finish a novel, and it feels good to do it again. Thus, I’m in my second NaNo.

10. Writing a lot gives you practice, and you get better with practice.

11. Rough drafts and ‘ugly ducklings’ are a necessary part of the creative process.

12. You can’t perfect what you ain’t writ. So all respect to the “yeah, but is it fifty thousand good words’ crowd, DUDE. IT’S A ROUGH DRAFT. WHATCHOO GOT? NOTHIN!

13. I live to write, so I NaNo.

11 thoughts on “13 Reasons to NaNo

  1. Alice Audrey says:

    Yeah, #10. Your boss must not do a lot of creating to assume a rough draft is supposed to be pretty. Mine never are.

  2. Great reasons! I’m with ya, sister. 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me.

  3. I haven’t gotten up the courage to Nano yet, but I see it in my immediate future. Good luck with it! 🙂


  4. Heather says:

    I’m in awe of those who participat ein NaNo. I never do well under that sort of pressure.

  5. Yeah, some of us writers are only drunk, disorderly and undisciplined SOME of the time. Others of us are orderly, disciplined, yet still drunk.


  6. Good luck this year…I decided to skip out..Maybe next year…

  7. Yep. Great TT.
    I needed a kick in the butt this year and NaNo gave it to me.

  8. Maddy Barone says:

    I’m *trying* to do NaNo, but I’m only averaging about 600 words a day. Sigh. At least I’m trying.

  9. Dawrei says:

    Hi! I’m new to the blogger-thing and trying to find some writing-related blogs, as my own is. And this post is somewhat old, but I still wanted to add an “hurray!”, because NaNo has been a great event for me for years and all your reasons are good reasons! 🙂

  10. Thanks, Dawrei! I’m pleased that my post “spoke” to you in some way. I find NaNoWriMo to be very helpful in getting the creative juices flowing.

    Look forward to seeing more of your writing! And thanks for stopping by; I really appreciate it!

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