It’s November—the month of writing mayhem! 🙂
If you’re a writer, you are well aware of NaNoWriMo. For those who aren’t familar, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which rolls around every November. It’s a time when many writers take on the challenge of crafting 50,000 words of a novel (broken up over 30 days, that’s an average of about 1,667 words per day). For experienced and new writers alike, this month is a popular one to dive into the challenge—and to help keep authors motivated and on task, the NaNoWriMo website hosts special day challenges, word counts, forums, and lots of support. In many ways, it’s a great banding together of the writing world.
So as many writer friends (and non-writer friends alike) have asked, why aren’t I doing it?
For the last two years, I’ve intended to participate in NaNo. While 50,000 words is only the start of a novel, I liked the idea of a camaraderie with other writers involved. Writing is a completely independent art—which is why we often encourage one another to attend conferences and workshops, or to start critique groups so that we don’t disappear in the confines of our offices and forget to share our work with one another. With this collaborative spirit in mind, it seems I should have signed right up.
Last year, I was heavy in the throes of finishing my first real novel, Kyresa. I toyed with the idea of stopping to create something new during NaNo, but doing so would have stalled my momentum on a book that had to finally be finished. I’m glad I held firm on that.
This year, I considered the idea again—especially because this time, one of my closest friends (a romance writer) decided to go for it. Cheering each other on like we did in high school sounded superb.
But again I had to pause and take a deep breath while I thought about the possibility. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I just started my new gig as an English teacher—which I’m loving—but it’s still taking some adjusting (read: paper grading) as I try to also maintain my writing life. In addition, I’m still in that unpacking stage of my recent move (read: curtain rods remain on the floor!).
And of course, there was the bigger issue: I promised myself after my July writing conference that I would take some time to craft shorts and finish editing another piece until the month of February. I made this decision with the goal of learning how to start and finish, over and over, so that I would never drag a novel out like I did with my first one again. Thus, February has long been set in my head as the month I intend to start my next full-length piece.
I am a woman of strong conviction once I make up my mind, but until then I’m as indecisive as they come. So I wavered back and forth on this, between the lure of the “team,” the best friend, and even multiple blogger pals getting involved…plus those nifty word counters sure are fun…
And then I put my foot down. My enthusiasm over building a collection of shorts is high, and some small semblance of sleep is important to me in this adjustment period to my new house and job. So…no NaNoWriMo for me, and I’m okay with it!
Instead, I’m opting to stand on the sidelines and cheer all my fellow NaNo writer pals on. I’ve been the biggest cheerleader for those I support for as long as I can remember (which is funny, since I never was a real cheerleader), and there’s no reason I can’t do that for all of my NaNo-ing peeps. Go team! While all of you are working away at creating the awesome 50,000 words you’re aiming for this month, I’ll still be writing alongside you. I’m not counting my words, and I’m not building a novel just yet, but I’m excited for every one of you. I’ve got pom-poms in the air, foot kicked high, and pigtails swinging in the breeze. Ra-ra. Yay-you. Goooooooo Team Writers!
Keep up the good work, everyone! Can’t wait to hear about your NaNoWriMo progress. 🙂
November 12th, 2012 at 9:40 am
These days, I consider Nanowrimo more a “fun” project than something that’s actually that useful to me. Like you, I had other places I wanted to put my energy this year. Great post Eva.
November 14th, 2012 at 5:51 am
Thanks, Daniel. I hope you are successful at your projects! One of these days I’ll take on the fun—but it’s mission time for now. Best of luck to you, and thanks for commenting. 🙂
November 12th, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Way to go on sticking to your decisions! 🙂 Enjoy your new job.
I’m rooting for you too. 🙂
I hit the 50K mark last night. Have 3 chapters to finish and the 1st draft will be completed. 🙂
November 14th, 2012 at 5:54 am
Thank you, Catrina. And good for you for hitting 50k in 12 days! Nicely done. I hope the first draft goes well, and thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂
November 12th, 2012 at 7:31 pm
I agree. I will cheer others on but I feel like committing to it might be setting myself up for failure. Have fun cheering!
November 14th, 2012 at 5:50 am
You as well! Thanks for commenting, Michelle!
November 18th, 2012 at 11:46 am
Well OK then…I’m NOT the only person who isn’t participating! I’ve actually heard a lot of criticism on the notion of NaNoWriMo, but on the other hand, I’ve heard good things too.
For me, I just don’t operate that way. I have to go at my own pace. My feeling is I managed to write a book on my own, so I know I’m capable!
Thanks for this post, I was starting to think: ‘the cheese stands alone.’
November 19th, 2012 at 5:58 am
I completely agree with you, Katie, and I’ve heard both good and bad about NaNo. There are so many of us out here writing—we can’t all do the same thing, and we have to do what works for us individually. So, multiple cheeses band together! 🙂 (How cheesy of me…)