If you hang around the creative writing world at all, then you know that October is NaNoWriMo prep month – that is, the time to prepare for November, which is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
I’ve done NaNo before (let’s not talk about my pathetic word count). Earlier this year I was looking forward to doing NaNo again and at least bettering my word count for the month, if not actually “winning” (that is, writing 50,000 words in a month). But as the fall approached, I realized that perhaps I’d be better off not doing it.
My writing load has greatly increased over the last few months. Here’s a brief rundown of what I’m currently working on:
Editing/rewriting novel #1 of a trilogy
Writing first draft of novel #2 of same trilogy
Writing weekly posts for my blog
Writing 10-15 posts a month for my job
Working on three short stories that I hope to have published by the end of the year
I’m not saying all this to brag about my writing endeavors (though I am excited about and thankful for the paid writing opportunities that have come my way recently).
I’m also aware that this laundry list of activities could sound like nothing more than excuses. Hey, we’re all busy: jobs, families, holidays, general life. Nobody has extra time lying around in November to devote to NaNoWriMo. If you want to do it, you have to make the time to do it.
I could make the time to do NaNo. I even have a story idea that just needs a little thought and outlining, and it would be ready to go for November. Even though I have a busy schedule, (and two other jobs besides the job I write for), I know I could make the time. I’m just not sure my brain could handle it.
My focus is spread thinner than I’d like right now. I’ve developed a weekly writing schedule for myself, so that I don’t try to write for everything every day. Switching between so many different subjects and styles of writing on a regular basis can easily sap my creativity and mental energy. I’m sure there are plenty of writers out there who manage the constant switching just fine, but since this is all rather new to me, I don’t want to put any unnecessary stress on my poor amateur brain.
I look forward to participating next year. I don’t know what my personal and professional writing life will be like in a year, but I want to be able to fit NaNoWriMo into my schedule and my mind by then. In the meantime, I will enjoy the writing that I’m currently doing, and will use this experience to become more disciplined with my mind and my schedule.
I love NaNoWriMo and everything it represents: getting people excited about writing, creating a sense of community for an otherwise solitary activity, a great platform for setting and tracking goals. Whether you’re a published author or you’ve never written a thing since your last essay in high school, I think participating in NaNoWriMo is a fun and inspiring thing to do.
So to all you WriMos for 2014 – go write!
20 thoughts on “Why I’m not Doing NaNoWriMo”
Nothing wrong with that. At least you have a writing-based workload to keep you busy as an excuse. Better to prioritize than burn yourself out. But, hey, regardless, congratulations on the fortune you’ve found with paid writing opportunities! It is a noble feat.
Thanks! Yes, I’m excited about my busy writing schedule. 😉 And I’m also excited about being fully adjusted and prepared so I can do NaNo next year. 🙂
That’s the spirit; NaNoWriMo isn’t going anywhere, so definitely always next year : )
It sounds like you have your priorities straight. You’re doing a lot of writing, and that’s what counts.
Thanks! Yeah, I really don’t want my current writing projects to suffer. That’s not the point of NaNo at all. 😉
Oh boy, I can relate. When you figure out the secret to switching between written work without exhausting yourself please let me know! 🙂
So far I’ve been doing okay by sticking to a very strict schedule. As in, on Mondays I write a post (or posts) for this blog, Tuesdays I write for this other blog, Wednesdays I write on my fiction first draft, etc. That way everything gets done every week (in theory).
LikeLiked by 1 person
Got it, haha. It’s nice to know that I am not alone when I don’t get everything I feel I should done in every work week.
I’m sure every writer feels that way from time to time. 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: Looking at NaNoWriMo 2014 and Facing the Decision | J. C. Conway
Pingback: NaNoWriMo | Alia Mikala
Good post. This is essentially why I’m not attempting NaNo this year either. Keeping up with a busy writing schedule can be very taxing.
Thanks! Yep, I’d hate to burn out (on either NaNo, or the stuff that I actually *have* to write)
Pingback: Blog Tour Stop Number Three - My Writer's Cramp
Pingback: Surviving NaNOWriMO – 10 ideas | Karavansara
Pingback: How to Revive a Dead Story | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express
Pingback: Time for NaNoWriMo | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express
Pingback: NaNoWriMo 2014: The Other Stories I Have Written | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express
Pingback: Serial Saturdays: Hiatus | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express
Pingback: 2014 NaNoWriMo Trashy Romance Challenge: Week 2/Act 2 | Write on the World