Why I am not participating

It’s NaNoWriMo. For those not familiar with that term, it is National Novel Writing Month. And with that comes the yearly challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month’s time-frame. As one can decipher from my heading, I am not going to be a part of it. That isn’t to say I am not going to write, it just means that I am not going to take part.

What is required is simple: write 1,667 words on average every day to complete the 50,000 goal by month end.

My average is generally most comfortable just north of 500 words per day when I am actively writing. I can, and have, maintained an average above 2,000 words per day for weeks at a time, but there are a lot of factors that determine my ability to do so. By rights, I can and should participate. But I am not.

There’s a few reasons I am not going to try this year, and here they are:

  1. I do not have a good project set aside.
    Now while this might be a weak excuse, it isn’t without some merit. To be able to run NaNoWriMo the right way, I feel that I need a project well planned out and ready to roll, err write. A lot of my projects don’t necessarily function this way, but that’s beside the point. I am not trying to keep up a short burst of writing over a week, I am trying to run a whole month at that word count. I need something ready to write a marathon. I just don’t have something ready.
  2. Other projects require my attention.
    I have 1 book dreadfully close to publication date. 2 other projects are in desperate need for my attention (book 4 of my scifi series Gravity, and part 2 of my novel-in-parts Of Earth and Ice). There’s about a ½ dozen or so other projects I am trying to move on as well. Starting a new project isn’t wise for me.
  3. I have a busy month ahead.
    I work a full-time job (with hours that go beyond full time). Sometimes I work 6 days a week. That’s under normal circumstances. With my line of work, we are now into the 4th quarter which is big for the company I work for. Couple that with vacations that I will have to cover for on top of normal responsibilities and I will find myself with a heavier work load than I manage for the other portions of the year. Less time to focus on writing
  4. I want to get my blog and social media accounts fixed.
    Not super important, but I am trying to break my addiction to social media at the moment and my blog (prior to this post) has been on a black-out. Marketing my books will require the success of my being able to responsibly handle both my social media presence and my attention to my blog. Writing in NaNoWriMo will only distract me from these goals.
  5. I am trying to fix myself.
    I have been on a slow path on realigning my goals in life. While writing is still top, I must admit that my other, hidden, goals have gotten in the way. (I speak of hidden goals which is a reference from a book I recently finished called “The Right Questions” by Debbie Ford.) These hidden goals were ones that led me to a social media addiction, a smart-phone addiction, falling off of my gym habits, and struggles in other areas of life. Directing energy towards NaNoWriMo will only allow myself distraction… again. Sure, it’s writing, but that isn’t the point.

For those of you taking part, I wish you luck. Maybe next year I’ll be ready. We’ll just have to see where I stand then.

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