As NaNoWriMo Approaches, A Decision…

Around this time, many of you, myself included, would begin gearing themselves up for the exhilarating marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Thirty days, 50,000 words. I myself have participated in it three times, having successfully completed it in 2012. It’s a blast, let me tell you. There’s no greater rush than that final week, the words simply flying out from you, and you’re not editing yourself as you’re going along. Just let it come out of you, and the rest will follow. It’s an incredible high, and, believe me, I know highs.

Right before the November 1st kickoff, we NaNers (the term I use for NaNoWriMo participants; the proper term is “NaNoWriMos”) will prepare ourselves, if we are the preparing type. We have a precise idea of what our new work is going to be about. We’ve begun outlining the story, fleshed out characters, consulted our trusted books on the writing craft. We’ll even put together our NaNoWriMo Survival Kit – lots of caffeine and snacks will be involved.

So how am I preparing for NaNoWriMo 2014?

I’m not.

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Nope. Not happening.

While I do have some life events that will likely prevent me from dedicating as much time as I’d need to give NaNoWriMo the attention it deserves (I start a new full-time job in two weeks, and my wife may be having surgery in mid-November), the honest truth is that I simply don’t feel like taking part this year. I’m in a self-diagnosed writing funk lately, and NaNoWriMo isn’t going to spur me out of it, either. I haven’t written much of anything lately, and what I’ve written doesn’t interest me. I’ve taken a short break from writing just to recharge and rethink some strategies. Taking part in NaNoWriMo isn’t a strategy that I want to be a part of right now, since my head and my heart just aren’t in it.

I will, however, cheer my fellow NaNoWriMo survivors on. If you’re embarking on this annual marathon, know that I’m thinking of you, and I know you’ve got what it takes to reach the finish line. But remember, ultimately it’s about the challenge, not the finished product. If you can’t finish, don’t beat yourself up over it.

If you’re thinking about doing this, for the first time, NaNoWriMo is a great exercise in the art of sticking to a deadline. While 30 days and 50,000 words won’t produce genius, it will produce that ass-in-seat mentality you need to be an effective writer…says the writer who’s taking a sabbatical from writing.

Ignore me.

Anyway…more from me later, from the writing front, soon.

10 thoughts on “As NaNoWriMo Approaches, A Decision…

  1. No NaNo? Ah well, there are certainly worse things in life 🙂 I myself will be attempting the challenge, although I don’t predict great success, as my last few attempts have failed miserably. Still, fingers crossed!

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  3. It is hard to participate in NaNoWriMo when you have several important life events upcoming. Either of the two you mention, a new job or your wife’s surgery are certainly enough stress by themselves without adding the self-imposed deadline stress of NaNoWriMo to the mix. I will not be participating this year either as my day job as a technical writer seems to be consuming most of my waking hours right now. Like you, I am not getting much done on my personal writing projects…but things change. Keep writing Gus and good luck to both you and your wife.

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  7. Hey, you.

    Man, good to see you. Coming out of a funk myself (or should I say I’m finally out…it oozed for awhile) and getting around the block for the first time in ages. Been scrolling through your blog, seeing what’s up, reading your articles, skimming the boring ones. 😉 Happy 2nd Blogoversary. I think that’s that’s the Video Upgrade blogoversary, isn’t it? Or is it china?

    Hope your wife is well. I didn’t even consider doing NaNo this year. Nuh-uh. No way, no how. You’ve got a new job? Cubicle monkey or other?

    Just got back from that conference I think I told you about. Wish you could’ve been there. It was a blast, and so different from other writing conferences. I wrote about it over at my place. But yeah, I did think of how you would’ve fit right in.

    Okay…more stuff to do around the block. Take it easy.

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