Ode to NaNoWriMo

Good day and welcome to Monday Blogs. Today, I’m going to be talking about National Novel Writing Month, specifically NaNoWriMo, and why I no longer officially participate.

For many years, I looked forward to November and pushing myself to finish a novel of at least 50,000 words in thirty days. It was a test of my ability to get my story down in a very rough draft and complete within a certain time frame. Every year of my official participation, I may have worked through the dark nights, have tossed cans at my husband and son, telling them to “make their own meals,” and literally pulled out my hair, but I finished and received a winner’s certificate every single time.

That’s not to say that my work was publication read. On the contrary, this was just a beginning, where I had a lot to do to prepare my work for submission to a publisher. Of course, I diligently went over those books, rewriting, editing, proofreading, and then offering them up to my critique groups, in order to have them find the things I couldn’t. After all that, it was back to the rewriting, editing, and proofreading followed by another round with the critique group. Yes, I’m OCD when it comes to my work.

Along comes 2013 and I’m once again doing NaNo. As always, I prepare by doing as much research as I can, to limit how much time I have to take away from writing in order to get the job done. Once again, I finished my novel and after downloading the winner’s certificate, I decided to look over the stats, to see who wrote the longest book.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that two people had created their NaNo accounts that day and had uploaded and had approved novels of over a million words.

Okay, maybe that could be done, was my first thought. Until I did the math and discovered that they would have had to write over 33,000 words a day in order to achieve this monumental feat.

Well, maybe they could do it. More than 33,000 words a day seems like a lot. So, I broke it down, letting my analytical mind see the evidence this couldn’t happen, and I wasn’t disappointed to find my theory was right.

In order for someone to achieve more than 33,000 words per day, they would have to write about 1400 words per hour, for all twenty-four hours in the day. This means the individuals would have had to give up on sleep, eating, bathroom breaks… uh, they would have to be automatons in order to achieve this feat. I wasn’t the only person crying foul, but their work was approved through the check and therefore, they took the top spots.

From that moment on, my November marathon is against myself, in the privacy of my office. I am so disappointed with the obvious cheating that I will never again participate in the official NaNo competition.

About K.C. Sprayberry

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.

Find out more about my books at these social media sites:


Cyn Ley said…
What an awful thing to have had happen! Has NaNoWriMo toughened up its requirements since?

I have a peeve against quantity style writing competitions. If any are interested, please check out my blog at www.authorcjl.wordpress.com

Cyn Ley