NaNoWriMo and Why My Love For It Has Changed

A few years ago, I did NaNoWriMo for the first time and I failed. The following year, I succeeded. However, after losing the manuscript, I opted out of doing it for a year or two and then, this year, I decided, “Hey, what the hell. May as well give it another shot.” This time around, I’ve realized I absolutely loathe National Novel Writing Month. It’s a great idea, certainly, and for some it is an amazing thing to take part in. It’s just not my thing anymore, unfortunately.

For some, a sprinted draft yields a product that they can easily mold to their likings. For me, it does the same, but with a sense of necessity rather than out of love for my craft. Those who take on the challenge religiously and are able to carry through with their daily word goals receive kudos from me. I encourage them to keep doing what they are doing and I fully support what the people over at NaNoWriMo are doing on a yearly basis. I, on the other hand, prefer to take my time writing. There really are days when I just don’t feel the desire to put pen to paper.

Whether it be drama in my real life, an unusual workload at school, or simply the fact that I want to kick back and relax with a drink and a video game, I often spend less time writing and more time thinking. I can sit in my chair and fool around on a video game and come up with ideas which, eventually, are put to paper. Or I can sit here and stare at my screen and type non-stop with little to no clue as to where I want to go and pull words out of my ass, so to speak. Yes, I could plot my stories and how they will end up. That would certainly make meeting daily goals easier; the problem there is that plotting and deciding ahead of time where every twist and turn in my project is going to go is not my style. I hate the feeling that I am rushed, and a daily word goal or, in this case, a montly world goal forces on me a false sense of urgency.

So it is with those thoughts that I have decided to enjoy my Thanksgiving holiday and forfeit my NaNoWriMo’s time length goal. I am not going to give up my project — it is an idea definitely worth writing and crucial to that world that I rediscovered after losing everything due to my ex’s carelessness in regards to my belongings. I am simply “extending the deadline” personally and for myself, so that I can actually come up with something easier for me to work with.

As I said before, I certainly encourage everyone who is participating to keep up their amazing work — some of those I have on my buddies have already exceeded their goal while others are within five thousand words of it. Some, like me, are nowhere near that number. As a writer, I am constantly changing how I do things and so, this time next year, it is entirely possible that I may feel the need to participate again and I may even make an attempt. It simply depends on what is swimming around in my head at that time. This year, I’ve just returned to my craft and am only more recently devoting more time to it and perhaps taking up the challenge was just a little too much for me, given my style.

Regardless, congratulations ahead of time to those who are successful in their NaNoWriMo journey and a Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow American writers. Best of luck to those who have not yet reached their goal, and certainly best wishes for next year!