I love the idea of NaNoWriMo, the image of thousands, hundreds of thousands of writers tucked in over words, pounding out word counts each day. I love the number of books that come out of this time, the number of people who find their footing in the pages of what they can honestly call “a full draft.” I think it’s a stellar idea.
But not for me.
Fiction isn’t my main genre, for one, but even if it was, or even if I wanted to try writing a creative nonfiction manuscript in November, I still wouldn’t. It’s just not a good fit for me for a few reasons:
1. I’m not a fast writer. Okay, I write my 1,000 words a day quite quickly, but the other 23.5 hours of the day I need space and time to just mull and weigh, even in the background. NaNoWriMo is too fast for me.
2. I’m not a planner. I don’t do outlines for anything I write – I actually don’t like outlines for creative work at all, but to be able to write for NaNoWriMo, I’d probably want an outline so that I could be faster. Maybe I could do without, but at this moment, an outline seems to be the only way I’d get the word counts I needed.
3. But most importantly, I need a daily writing practice, not an annual one. I know many writers write all year long and then use NaNoWriMo to get more done, and that’s wonderful. For them. I know myself, though, and I would find a way to let NaNoWriMo be my excuse to write the other 11 months of the year. “I finished a draft. Now, I don’t need to produce more.” I just don’t have the discipline to pour a ton of myself into one month and then come back to the page for 1,000 words the other days of the year.
So, to all of you doing NaNoWriMo, huzzah! I’m excited for you and proud of you. I pray you stick with it and write the books we all need to read.
Me, I’ll be here, cheering you on, and plodding along with my 1,000 words a day. You’ll be the ones in the crew sculls; I’ll be in the rowboat. And we’ll all be on the water together, pulling with all ourselves.
So who is doing NaNoWriMo? Who isn’t? Care to share your reasons why you are or aren’t participating?