As you know, this is National Novel Writing Month fondly called NaNoWriMo, and many people have begun the journey to writing a 50,000 world novel in a month.
Kudos to them!
As the beginning of November approached, I had a debate with myself about joining. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?
I recognize the advantages of joining NaNoWriMo: the community, the inspiration, the support group, etc. But, when I really thought about it, I felt an overwhelming sense of pressure at the thought of joining. Why? Here are some of my thoughts:
- I know I can write a novel. I’ve done it. Just because that novel has yet to be published doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
- I know I have other books inside me, but trying to force them out has made me depressed and frustrated. I can’t force myself to create, I create when I have something to say.
- When I find a story, I write quickly. Thousands of words pour out of me in a short time period, so the time limit of a month has little meaning anyway. If I have a story to tell, I will tell it.
- Writing quickly does not necessarily mean writing well. I know, the concept behind this is to just get a draft done, and then you can enter the editing process, but every writer has a different process so I’m not sure that would completely work for me. (I often alternate between writing and editing, reviewing past work before I continue forward).
- I am already putting too much pressure on myself to accomplish, and I’m struggling a lot with my own pressure. NaNoWriMo seems like it will just add to the mix.
For those of you who have joined this challenge, I think it is wonderful. I look forward to reading your stories and learning about your adventures throughout the month.
I just needed to make a different choice. For a while I thought perhaps I was just making another excuse, another reason to say “I want to be a writer,” rather than “I am a writer.”
- 3 variations of poems for the 100 word challenge for grown ups
- One opening chapter for a book project that I think I’m starting. I haven’t shared that on here, but some of you have read it and the feedback has been mostly positive.
- Two posts about childhood and the value of magic
- Two poems for a writing contest on HubPages. “The Source of Inspiration, An Etheree on Writing” and “A Sestina for Slovakian Adventures”
- A book review on Caitlin Kelly’s Malled that I also posted in my Hub.
- Numerous comments, e-mails, tweets, and other various written communications.
- Morning Pages (although I admit I slacked a little there)
I have written hundreds, if not thousands of words a day. So, while I may not (or maybe I will) have a novel to show for it at the end of November, I will still be able to say “I am a writer.”
That has to be enough.
Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo writers! And good luck to the rest of us as well.