NaNoWriMo

Or… Why I Am Participating in NaNoWriMo, But Not Really

NaNoWriMo is upon us! National Novel Writing Month is knocking on the door. It’s a time of year when us writers go bat-shit crazy gearing up to write a novel in one month (50,000 words in a month or 1,667 words a day). As I follow a lot of writers, I have been seeing many of them looking to attack NaNoWriMo like a starved pack of hyenas. Unlike them, I am not as excited about it.

I’ve only participated once, or tried to, a few years ago, and I fizzled out within a week. I couldn’t even hit the word count each day that I did keep up with the effort. But I am going to try again this year… kindof.

In the last two posts I made, I eluded to an event in my life that followed an exhausting vacation, a significant event, that has left me drained. Not that I am keeping it a huge secret, but it was bad. And indeed, even a month later, I feel stripped. Recovery (in this case emotional recovery) has been slow. I feel excessively exhausted, even still. Through the whole month, I get spurts of writing effort, but that ends up sputtering out. It competes with the lessened amount of energy I have to deal with everything else going on.

Trust me though, I am OK. My problem has been that I have not gotten a proper chance to decompress in the right way, a way that helps me to let go of this whole thing.

And it’s also a time thing. I have been busy this month, meaning that activities and things that need to get done abound… and I’ve never been very skilled at utilizing a few minutes here and there to write rather than sitting down for 30 minutes or more.

That is my own flaw.

Given that, I have decided that NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to force myself back into my routine. It’s a good chance for me to use my writing for recovery, as it should be. My goal for the month isn’t to finish a novel this month, as I have between 60K to 100K words to go in book 2 of Agnes. (Plus, I have a ton of revising to do… 5 projects worth of revising.) My goal is to regain a regular writing pattern while building better patterns and habits to sustain my writing. I am not going for 1,667 words a day; I want to hit around 1,000 words a day, like I was at until mid-September.

Will I finish a novel in November? No. Most likely not. However, given that it isn’t my goal, I am not all that worried. I will still use this month and the writing enthusiasm that NaNoWriMo tries to offer as the right incentive to get back on track with my writing.

And maybe next November, I’ll be ready for a proper NaNoWriMo challenge.

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