So as you may have suspected, I’m not participating in National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo, for short – this year. Normally I write at least one post in the months leading up to Nano, filled with character ideas and plot synopses and thoughts on how I’m going to tackle that particular year’s wordcount goal.
But I didn’t do that this year, and some of you noticed. HERE IS WHY I’M NOT DOING NANO.
My biggest project for Creative Writing class – a seven-to-fifteen page short story – is due tomorrow, and I’ve been working on it these past few weeks. Frantic, intense writing? BUT I JUST DID THAT.
My short story has to be revised, and the new version turned in by the end of the semester, so I’ll probably work on that over Thanksgiving break.
I don’t have any great ideas for NaNo this year. I kind of used them up in that short story.
I want to use my free time for blogging!
And spending time with my friends!
And time to just… to just be, you know? Time to daydream and go for aimless walks and reorganize the drawings and glittery postcards/birthday cards on my bulletin board, and whatnot. Time for doing nothing much important – time to de-stress.
College makes me super freaking exhausted and I don’t need a reason to stay up any later than I already do.
Come to think of it, I should probably use some of that free time for napping.
I’m already stressed; I don’t need any more stress.
I have two major writing projects for City of Literature due towards the end of November.
And a major paper for Intro to GWSS.
…and a paper for Superheroes Unleashed.
Guess what?! I have a paper due for Media History & Culture as well.
And another midterm for that class. It’s in less than a week. My mind has been consumed with studying and NOT with thinking of ideas for NaNo.
Also, homework is a thing.
I want to go home for Thanksgiving break and just relax – read for fun, watch Netflix and maybe a movie or two, go for walks, catch up with my friends back home, et cetera. I really don’t want to bury myself in writing a novel (or a series of short stories, which I’ve done before as well) this year. I want to enjoy my break.
I just have no motivation for NaNo this year.
NaNo-ing hasn’t even been that enjoyable these past few years: I feel like I have to do it, like it’s almost a compulsion or something, like I’m a failure if I don’t participate AND win. And that’s just not true. I need to learn to ignore that nagging little feeling that I can only be a good teen writer if I do NaNo.
I have never liked the stories I wrote during NaNo (or Script Frenzy, or Camp NaNoWriMo) nearly as much as I like the stories I write outside of NaNo. I need to stop fooling myself into thinking that I write well under that kind of pressure, because I don’t.
Deciding not to do NaNoWriMo is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made this year – or in a while. As you can see, I’m just not feeling super pumped about it, and I’m incredibly busy with stuff I HAVE to do (like school). And as I said in #18, I need to get over this feeling that participating in NaNo automatically makes me a better writer, because it doesn’t.
…honestly, I think choosing not to do NaNo in 2015 was a very mature decision. This choice was neither easy nor quick. I thought about it a lot in September and October. I weighed my options. I realized that it would be nearly impossible for me to go to class, keep my grades up, do NaNo, get enough sleep, hang out with friends, and find enough time for other interests like reading and blogging. That would be exhausting, and not in my best interests either.
I would love to do NaNoWriMo again someday, and perhaps even while still in college – I think my sophomore year might be the perfect time to do it. I’ll be better at juggling academics with interests like reading, writing, and blogging, and hopefully I’ll have made more connections to the writing community here, so I can go to write-ins at coffee shops and whatnot. And I won’t be busy with internships / job-hunting / writing my honors thesis / grad school apps, either – those will all happen during junior and senior years!
So, yeah. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I really wanted to, but I also realized it wouldn’t be a good idea, and honestly the only reason I thought about doing NaNo was to say that I’d done it five years in a row.
If you’re not doing NaNo either, come and join me in this little corner of the bloggy world. I’ll even give you virtual hot chocolate or tea and blankets, and we can commiserate about how many other things are happening in our lives that made participating in (let alone completing) NaNo impossible this year.
And to those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo – good luck!