I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I know, strange to hear an author say that, but here are the five reasons why I won’t be joining in the “fun”.
- I Already Wrote Three First Drafts This Year – Not quite the four per year of more established romance authors, but I feel like it’s still an accomplishment. Maybe not the book in a month of NaNoWriMo, but clearly I already have the motivation to produce.
- I have Five Books That Need Revising – In addition to the three new first drafts I produced this year, I also have two other books in need of revision. I need to be focusing on that as much, if not more, than producing new content right now.
- Prep Book For Publishing – I am seriously considering the self-publishing route right now. I’ve been querying a completed book, and I haven’t found any agents interested. But this means I need to spend some of my writing time formatting the book and figuring out how to launch it rather than write.
- I want My Family to NOT Hate Me – This is a big one. I have that full time day job, and November is one of my busiest times of the year. Even busier than year-end and tax season. Combine that with Thanksgiving, two amazing kids, and a wonderful spouse, and they just don’t need the crap. Seriously. Trying to churn out 1.7k words a day is hard. It’s daunting. And it requires a commitment from the whole family I’m not willing to ask.
- Stress Kills Creativity – For me, NaNoWriMo isn’t motivating, it’s stressful. That makes it even harder to be creative, especially in an already stressful time of my life.
- I Want Writing to Stay Fun – The reason I write is because I love to create character and worlds. I love to see good triumph and get my happily-ever-after. I’ve loved reading since I was a small kid, and I decided I wanted to write after reading some books with crappy endings. I wanted control. To see things resolved properly. No control issues here. Nope. None at all.
The one thing I’ve learned is every writer is different. What works for me doesn’t work for them. So, if NaNoWriMo is something that helps a writer achieve their goals, great!
I simply haven’t found it helpful, and for things like work-life-family balance, I’ve found it detrimental. I’m much happier with my five-hundred words-a-day goal. A lot of days I get more, but most days I get at least the five-hundred. It works for me.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I’ll still be here, but I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.
How about you? Do you find deadlines like NaNoWriMo beneficial? Do deadlines help motivate you? Or do you find the added stress actually makes it harder to achieve your goals?