Shelley Widhalm

NaNoWriMo Loser

In NaNoWriMo, Shelley Widhalm, Writing Processes on November 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

I planned on doing NaNoWriMo this month, but the word No got in the way. My problem this past week was my excuses, so instead of blogging to encourage fast, furious writing, I’m commiserating with those of us who bailed.

Last year, I participated for the first time in National Novel Writing Month, an international challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, or 1,667 words a day.

I wanted to take part again this year, but I wasn’t prepared to write a novel I prepped for based on a true-life experience. I realized I was still too close to what had happened and wasn’t ready to write. I wasn’t being realistic giving enough time, thought and distance to process what had happened.

And yet I didn’t come up with another idea, so yet another excuse.

Here are my excuses for not trying a new writing project (I even considered doing a bunch of short stories): I am tired. I’m not disciplined enough to write daily (though I did it last year, so what’s my problem?). And I don’t know how to do pantser writing, or start in on the writing without a plan.

I know that the idea of NaNoWriMo is to do fast writing, not actually to write something perfect. I know that I can give myself permission to write a crappy first draft and just let go without the self-editor getting in the way.

But here I am blogging about avoiding National Novel Writing Month. As I do this, I wonder if other NaNoWriMo bloggers (or non-NaNos like me) are questioning their non-participation and avoidance tendencies. Is that like negating what’s supposed to get you writing in the first place?

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