This Writer’s November Debate


With November just around the corner, this writer finds herself at a crossroads. I’m not talking about the horrific election, but rather the opportunities November affords to writers of poetry and fiction. There are two big options on the table, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Option #1: Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest) November Poem A Day Challenge

Pros: I’ve participated in the PAD challenge for the last three years. The prompts are challenging, original, and always push my poetry to a new level. In addition, the camaraderie among poets is amazing and very uplifting.

Cons: I’m already writing a poem a day for National Haiku Writing Month. While February is technically the official Haiku Writing Month, prompts are posted for every day of every month. While haikus are short poems, they do take time to piece together. I’m not sure about adding a second set of prompts to an already full haiku writing schedule.

Possible Solution: I could give up NaHaiWriMo for a month and just focus on the PAD Challenge.

Option #2: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Pros: I’ve been itching to start writing another novel. In particular, I want to get moving on the sequel to The Muse. I’ve got the basic story outlined, (although there are some pretty big holes to fill in), and my characters are getting chatty in my head. I already know where the story will start, I have a prologue in play, and I know how it ends. I just need a nudge to get this going.

Cons: This is a huge commitment! 1,667 words a day is a tall order for me as I continue to work full-time, manage blogs, take care of home and family, and craft (I refuse to give up my handicraft time as it is therapeutic stress relief!). This year my day job is more overwhelming than usual as I am now teaching three Advance Placement level courses, one of which is new to me (and therefore requires significant out of classroom planning). I don’t know that there are enough hours in the day to pull this off! Never mind, that I’m still trying to find an agent for The Muse. Do I really want to start a sequel for a novel still sitting unpublished, much less unrepresented?

Possible Solution: NaNoWriMo challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Maybe I can adjust the goal to meet my personal needs. Instead of 1,667 words, I can challenge myself to write 500 words a day. I may not end up with a completed novel, but I’d have a great start.

I still have a couple of weeks to decide exactly what challenge I’ll take on. However, if the day job gets any busier, I may have to let both challenges go. As hard as that is to do, I have my sanity to consider and I think my muse would agree!

Regardless, my usual writing practice will continue. Poetry and whatever my muse inspires will show up at least three times a week, right here! Stay tuned!

– – –

c.b.w. 2016



9 thoughts on “This Writer’s November Debate

  1. Or you can do the third option, which is what I’m doing. =p I’ll be a NaNoWriMo rebel, working on poetry and committing 50 hours instead of 50,000 words. (Because 50,000 words of even half-decent poetry in a month is a level of insanity I will not commit myself to.)


    • Ooo, I like the idea of a time goal. I’m still thinking about it – I’ve got my novel spiral pulled out and I’m feeling the pull. It’s really a question of how much time, if possible, I’m able to devote to my little project.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rita Ackerman

    How about keeping track of NaHaiWriMo prompts and do PAD for a change of poetry, then go back to the other prompts as time permits? We decided this weekend to split my last ten years of articles into two books with different slants. The editor told me to work at my own pace but I’d like to get one done and am trying to figure out a way to apply NaNoWriMo to rewriting and updating a bunch of articles for book one. I have always loved the idea of a big push in November to get those energies going.


    • A few years back I used NaNoWriMo as a push to finish editing my novel. It worked out great! I hope it does for you as well. 🙂 I think my other issue with PAD is I’m enjoying the freedom and experimentation of writing poems without any sort of direction. It’s yielding some interesting results.


  3. It’s always a hard choice, especially with an especially busy teaching schedule. (I totally feel you on that. I felt like I was drowning last year.) Since it looks like the novel might be calling, a modified NaNoWriMo is a great choice. After all, it doesn’t hurt to feel out the sequel even if the first isn’t published yet. 🙂


    • So true. At this point, I’m looking closer at self-publishing. This needed in a haystack search for an agent has been going on for three years. I’ll keep searching, but there are so many other options out there and I’d be foolish not to check them out. 🙂


      • That’s the route I’ve been considering too. At least for the novel I’m currently working on. Then see where to go from there.

        About a year ago, I had a long conversation with my husband about where I really want my writing career to go. As a kid, I imagined being the next household name. As I’ve gotten older, though, I realized that I just want to share my worlds with other people. That thought is part of what made me feel more comfortable with giving self-publishing a try.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.