This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I’m not a huge fan of NanoWriMo. I don’t dislike it, but I’m close. I will most likely never participate in it, and I’m going to try to explain myself. Understand that I speak for nobody but myself, and I am certainly not disparaging those who enjoy the experience.
You see, I love writing. Writing, to me, is that “I love what I do so my job isn’t ‘work'” feeling. If someone said “Hey, if you let us cut off your toes, we’ll pay you to write the rest of your life,” I’d be all like “Cool beans! I don’t need those ungrateful toe bastards anyway! Saw away, friend!”
So you’d think that NaNoWriMo would be perfect for me, right? Well, yes…and no. For me, writing is done on my time. It’s an activity that provides an escape and a bit of solace that I can’t get doing really anything else (except maybe running). I don’t give myself word count or time deadlines. I write however much or little flows from my noggin, through my fingers, and onto the keyboard.
Forcing myself to hammer out a novel in a month would be like forcing myself to run as long and as far as I can until I drop dead. I don’t want to force the creativity out of me, beating it with a whip and calling it bad names until it’s crying in the corner, rocking itself in the fetal position.
I don’t want to look at the time of day and think “Holy crapballs, I need to pound out X number of words still today or this week or this month!” No thanks. I’ll pass.
I know that some writers thrive on this. NaNoWriMo gives them a chance to branch out and write something they otherwise wouldn’t commit to. They come up with new ideas and concepts, and they pound them out until their fingers fall off and they love it! And that’s great, but it’s not for me.
Writing is me time. It’s the few hours of the week that I have nowhere to go and nothing to do but write, and write what I want to write. The moment that feeling stops is the moment I will give up writing. And I’m not planning on giving up writing anytime soon.
So, writers, prep for NaNoWriMo and have loads of fun during the month of November. I will not be writing with you, but I will certainly be cheering you on from the sidelines…still, sadly, with all of my toes intact.