The title of today’s blog has probably struck a bit of Halloween horror into a bunch of authors. 🙂 (And speaking of Halloween, if you’ve not read All Shook Up, the free short story featuring some of the characters from Athena’s Daughter, click on over and get your spooky shiver on.)
Before we go any further, I should probably explain to all the non-authors reading this just what NaNoWriMo is. It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, and every November a lot of authors take the pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For lots of them, it gives a jump start to their writing, and they end up with a first draft to work from at the end.
And now to the subject at hand – 3 Reasons I Don’t Do NaNoWriMo. Now, lest you think I’m one of those people who run around waving pitchforks and torches and stuff about NaNoWriMo, I’m not. I know it’s helped countless authors over the years, and that’s wonderful. If you’ve signed up to participate, I will cheer you on with every mental pom-pom I can muster, and will be thrilled for you if you reach your 50,000 word goal. Even if you don’t reach it, I’ll still be thrilled for you for at least giving it a try if you choose to participate.
The thing is, it’s just not for me, and here are my top 3 reasons why.
- First and foremost, it’s in November. November! This is one of those months where I usually find myself chasing my own tail, what with family in for Thanksgiving, and gearing up for Christmas. If I had to add the demand of writing 50,000 words in this 30 day period, I’m pretty sure my head would explode. Last year at this time I was deep into writing Athena’s Daughter, and the words were coming fast and furious. I was lovin’ it! But a couple of weeks into November, I was pulled away from writing by the demands of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, spending that time with my family, and by shopping for Christmas. So I put the book aside, threw myself into the holiday spirit, and the world did not come to an end. After Christmas, I sat down again, finished the book, and it was published in May. I know myself all too well, and if I had tried to bust out a set number of words last November, I would have come to resent the story. So only writing in bits and spurts was the best course of action for me.
- Secondly, if I were to sign up for NaNoWriMo and then fail to write 50,000 words, I would feel like a failure. Like I couldn’t do something that so many other writers do, and do it every year. Would I actually be a failure? Nope. But I’d feel like one, and that’s not a good way for an author to feel.
- And last, but not least, I have my own way of writing, and I like it. I may write 50,000 words in a month, or I might just write 20,000. And during the holidays, I write even less than that. I enjoy the way I do things, and I don’t want to do them differently. The way I write works for me. After all, I have two published books, one traditionally published and one self-pubbed, and come tomorrow I’ll have three when Song Without Words is released. For me, changing the way I write would be fixing something that isn’t broken.
There you have it – 3 reasons I choose not to participate in NaNoWriMo. If you, too, are sitting this one out, know that you’re not alone, not by a long shot. Create in the way that’s best for you! 🙂
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