Literary Musings

NaNoWriMo 2016: Final Post

Another November has passed us all by and another National Novel Writing Month is over.

I had the best intentions and I even started out strong. Then life got in the way as it usually does. Sure I could have forced myself to work through the things that were bothering me, and honestly sometimes writing does help when you’re upset. But other times the last thing you want to do is use your brain power. Sometimes you just need to veg out in front of the TV and get lost in a fictional world that you don’t have to work to create.

And guess what? That’s okay. My career was not¬†dependent upon my reaching a word count of 50,000 words over the span of thirty days. I could not have saved the world or the lives of tiny cute animals if I’d skipped a couple hours of TV watching or reading or going to see Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with my friends/coworkers. Plus, it’s not like I didn’t get writing done. I was close to 50% done when the clock ran out at minute. That’s nearly 25,000 words that I didn’t have written a month ago. That’s the important thing. I wrote. I wrote more than usual and actually most of what came out was good. I’m proud of that.

All this, plus my involvement in various Camp NaNo’s and the Young Writer’s Program this year, has me thinking a few things.

I understand the challenge and appeal of wanting people to write 50,000 words but at the same time I also think that’s really daunting and probably turns a lot of people off especially since in America we’re in the family time heavy holiday season by November. I know one year when I actually hit the goal I was miserable because I had so many sleepless nights (I felt guilty that I was sleeping and not writing) and guess what? Not only was my novel still not actually complete but the vast majority of what I’d written was utter crap. I ended up scrapping most of it.

I think this might mean I’m done with NaNoWriMo, at least the official full one in November. I can’t imagine what it would be like to attempt if and when I have kids and a house instead of an apartment to take care of on top of a full time job. There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything that needs done (food and laundry and work, etc.) and decompress on top of writing. Because I don’t know about you but I need reading time and cuddling with the fiance time in order to be sane.

Now that doesn’t mean I’m done writing. Not at all. No, I’ll stick with the Camps and personal goals that I can set so I push myself to write more but not so much that I lose sight of my me time and my family. But I think I’m breaking up with November’s full scale NaNoWriMo.

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