If you’re reading this in real time, it’s early December and so many writers have just finished the glory that is National (really, it’s international) Novel Writing Month AKA NaNoWriMo.
If you don’t know already, NaNoWriMo is a month during which writers around the world try to write a novel, or 50,000 words, in one month.
There are so many cool parts about participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s free to sign up for an account on their website, there are tracking tools to help you keep going such as word counts, badges, and more, there are online forums where you can get in touch with other writers like yourself, and there are even local events!
I have participated in NaNoWriMo a handful of times and, while I have never successfully written 50,000 words in the month of November (I give a slow, passionate clap to all of you who can!), I have certainly made good headway on the novels I have worked on through the event.
In fact, my first two NaNoWriMos were spent working on my book A Collection of Scars!
So, if I love NaNoWriMo so much, why didn’t I participate in it this year?
The format of cramming in 1,667 words EVERY DAY for 30 days just doesn’t work with my lifestyle or my writing habits.
Each time I participate in NaNoWriMo, I get off to a great start! I go hard. I meet my daily goals for one to two weeks and it feels great!
And then I burnout.
Not exactly a sustainable writing habit.
That burnout results in me needing to take a few days break, which ruins the momentum I was building, and working on the manuscript becomes a little more painful.
Through my experiences with NaNoWriMo and my success in finishing two manuscripts each over three months, I’ve realized that the NaNoWriMo pace doesn’t do me any favours. In fact, it hurts my writing habits.
Which is why, if I’m being honest, I might not ever participate in NaNoWriMo again. At least, not in the traditional sense. Maybe I’ll participate just because I like watching my word count chart go up over the month, or maybe because I’d like to eventually meet up with my local group to make some writer friends, or maybe because I like the feeling of knowing that I’m writing along with the rest of the world.
Congratulations to those of you who participated in NaNoWriMo this year! You’re all superstars!
Until next time,