When national novel writing month rolls around every year, my social media streams flood with posts about writing sprints, last minute-scrambles, how fast fingers are flying on keyboards, calls to meet over coffee.

I’ve never done NaNo. Never had any interest in doing it.

I’m an author. I put out more than one book a year because I’m an indie and I can. I write lots of words fast, and I have no trouble meeting the arbitrary deadlines I set for myself.

I don’t skip NaNo every year for any kind of snooty “artists don’t NaNo,” reason. I don’t think I’m above it.


by participant, I mean not participant

I don’t NaNo because:

I have a production schedule. This month, I’m doing final post-edit proofing on the next book in my Micah Reed series, I’m plotting book number 7, and I have a stretch goal of trying to write a short story to submit to an anthology I’d like to be a part of. If I were to drop or reorder all that to write 50,000 words of new fiction in November, I’d miss my deadlines for all that other stuff.

I usually write fast, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I need to take my time. Some chapters need to be paused for research. Yeah, usually, I insert placeholders and save research for before second draft, but if the info will shape the plot, I don’t want to waste the word count by proceeding without it.

Writing 50K words just for the sake of writing 50K words is not in my goals.

I get it, though. A lot of people want to be authors, and part of their problem is that they can never make the time to write. Joining a communal thing to share in the glory of writing with abandon for 30 days is a big booster. Don’t put off that book any longer. Take November and get it done. Without irony, I’ll say: good for you.

I think it’s awesome for those people. I love to see more words of fiction out there. Again, I’m not above NaNo. I just have a plan that works for me and I’m not going to change it.