I’m Rebelling Again This NaNoWriMo


I’m usually a big fan for following rules. I even make up my own rules just so I feel like there’s some order to my life. When they make sense to me, rules are a comfort to me. It’s a way to be sure I’m on the same page as everyone else, which I need since I have a tendency to wander off when I’m preoccupied. Rules keep me grounded and give me a place to return to once I realize I’ve started to stray.

I’ve been breaking one of the basic rules of NaNoWriMo a lot during recent events.

One of the basic rules of NaNoWriMo is that we’re supposed to start a new novel on November 1 and write at least 50,000 words of that new novel during the month of November. This is a great rule in general. Usually, the start of a new novel is full of creative energy which is exactly what a writer needs during a marathon like NaNo.

Starting with something new for November also makes sure everyone is starting at relatively the same point. People might be more or less prepared, depending on when they decided to participate in the even and their place on the planner-pantser spectrum, but no one has started telling their story before the start of the event. Everyone is going through the same stages of writing and discovery together. I think it’s a beautiful thing to experience. There’s a real sense of camaraderie on the forums and at write-ins because everyone is on the journey together.

I haven’t started with a new project for NaNo in years.

It might not sound like a big deal, but it really does change the nature of the event. The experience changes enough that I’ve seriously considered starting something new just to join in that part of the fun again. I miss it.

I can’t justify starting any new projects right now.

Inbetween is a beast. I’m over 80 chapters in at this point and the story is going to end up well over 200,000 words by the time I reach the end. My momentum with this project is so tenuous at times that I’m not sure I’d be able to pick it up again if I allowed myself to start something new before finishing it.

I’m also still working on The Dreams. This story is my baby. It has such a special place in my heart and I really want to shape it into the vision I have in my mind of what it was meant to be. This will probably be the first book I publish and sell.

The Dreams hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention from me since I started writing Inbetween. Either I’m having a great time writing my current novel or I’m struggling to untangle the mess I’ve made to keep my posting schedule something close to consistent. Circumstances simply haven’t left me with a lot of time to dedicate to a major rewrite.

NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse for me to give my favorite project some TLC.

Writing an already started 3rd draft goes against a lot of the principles of NaNoWriMo, but it’s what I need to do for the sake of my writing this year.

Hopefully, my rebellious streak won’t last too much longer and I’ll be back to writing a brand new first draft for NaNoWriMo in 2019.

8 thoughts on “I’m Rebelling Again This NaNoWriMo

  1. I’ve been a NaNo rebel for the last two years, and am going to be (hopefully) for the last time this year. Hey, at least we are writing, right? 🙂

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    • Showing up and writing is definitely the most important part of NaNoWriMo!

      I did NaNo traditionally by starting a new draft of a new novel on November 1 for many years and I still believe that is the easiest way to have a great NaNo experience. I’m just at a point with my writing where starting new projects just isn’t productive. A part of me always wants to start something new in November, but a bigger part of me wants to finish books, not just rough drafts.

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  2. I totally agree. I’d love to experience the true NaNo experience again, but finishing the book is the number one priority. Having multiple projects going is tough. I’m right there with you.

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  3. I’ve actually only been a rebel once during November (I have rebelled a whole bunch of times during Camp NaNo, though) and that was all the way back in 2009.

    Good luck on The Dreams! I definitely understanding wanting to finish a project over starting anything new.

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    • Thanks!

      I’ve rebelled for almost all of the CampNaNoWriMo sessions. Rebelling for the November event is a much newer trend for me.

      It’s definitely a new step on my writing journey to be more committed to finishing projects than to starting new ones.


  4. For me, this yearwill be NaNoFinMo. National Novel Finishing Month. I have a WIP that I should be able to take to the next level. So that will be the goal. Everybody should do what’s best for them. Good writing to all!

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  5. I agree. Not starting with a new project changes the nature of the event. It’s been a few years since I participated in the main November event, but whenever I continue something I’ve been writing for Camp NaNo as opposed to starting something new, it’s so much more slow going. That’s why I’m trying to push myself to the end of my current revision of my WIP, so I can get to a good stopping point in my revisions to start something new . . . even though I still have all of part 3 to get through . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love starting a new project for NaNo, and I do think that it’s the best and easiest way to get to 50k in a month, but as someone who tends to write absolutely massive stories I’ve come to accept that some years are going to be rebel years.

      I’m really hoping 2019 will be a return to starting a fresh first draft on November 1.

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