Sunday, November 22, 2009


NaNoWriMo vs. NaBloPoMo

November is a crazy month where writers across the globe get a stranglehold of their muse and push their writing abilities to the limit!

Which is harder: NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) participants strive to write 50,000 fictional words in one month, and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) participants strive to post on their blog every day for one month. I did some quick math and, considering a blog post is roughly 500 words in length, the word count for NaBloers would be 15,000 words in one month.

50,000 words vs. 15,000 words

A quick look at the word count and you'd assume that NaNoers have a tougher mountain to climb. One thing we need to remember is all the words are hidden from the public. You can write a terrible first draft and still win NaNo.

NaBloers, on the other hand, have less words to pen but their thoughts must be complete. Every day is a new post with a fully fleshed out idea (hopefully) that is visible to the public. You can't hide behind a veil of secrecy. The NaBloPoMo site checks to see if you actually posted every day before they award prizes. Skip a day and you're out of the game.

You can skip a day or two with NaNo, but it's not the days that matter, it's the overall word count at the end of the month. But in order to win, you do have to verify you wrote 50,000 words by uploading your draft to the site between November 25th - 30th. They also have word count widgets and a word-count box on the site to keep track of your progress and hold you accountable. I don't know if they award any prizes or not, but the real reward is knowing you completed a novel in one month.

Quality vs. Quantity

Both sites are all about quantity. There are no editors with red pens looming over your shoulder as you type. You can write a crappy first draft or you can write crappy blog posts. It's up to you.

The NaBloPoMo site even says that they ignore the quality of your posts and reward the quantity. You can enter their blogroll and get assigned a number in order to win a prize, and if you write drivel you can still win. But who wants terrible blog posts that stay online forever?

The same thing goes with the NaNoWriMo site. They say all you have to do is write more than one word repeated 50,000 times. But who wants to cheat themselves out of a real novel writing experience?

My Take

Personally, I'd rather participate in NaNoWriMo. I've done my own NaNo, but not during the month of November, and found it truly rewarding. When writing a novel, it's necessary to shut yourself out from the real world and delve into a fictional one full of your own characters, setting, and plot. Thinking about writing a blog post every day for a month makes my head hurt! It's hard to come up with a new topic daily that you have to edit, polish, and send out to the world. Either way, it's not an easy task for participants in either NaNo or NaBlo. I applaud all of you for taking the challenge this month and stepping up to the blank page. You are all winners for putting yourself out there and trying.

Now, I want to know:

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, how is your word count coming? Are you happy with the way your novel is turning out?

If you're participating in NaBloPoMo, how are you coming up with new ideas every day? Do you find the quality of your blog posts suffering?

And to those rare birds that are doing or combining both: what are you thinking? LOL.

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