I looked forward to it, I planned on it, and I was prepared for it. My outlines were ready, my story was waiting. So, why am I not doing NaNoWriMo this year?

The energy and ethusiasm of NaNoWriMo is great, and I will always be really glad the event exists. But, I have to admit when things just don't work for me, and this is one such case. Dropping NaNoWriMo doesn't mean not writing, it just means not writing 50,000 works between two specific dates on a calendar. During the month of November, I'll probably write a lot. There is a good chance, even while I say I'm not doing it, I'm going to write more during this month than others, because it will be hard to escape the motivational influence of all the other people out there working on their stories. I'm thankful to NaNoWriMo for that, but it just doesn't work for me, personally.

  • I'm busy, and my moods swing around making writing easier and harder
  • Missing the goal makes me feel bad, which is not a good motivator
  • Missing the goal even for one day has the same problem
  • Increasingly, I lean towards goals of smaller stories. 10 - 15K words, not 50K novels. NaNoWriMo simply doesn't have a goal that actually works within the things I want to write, any longer.

The last one has been on my mind for some time. The more smaller e-book stories I go through, the more I love the idea of putting out small stories under five dollars, digitally distributed only. This model makes a lot of sense, which I hope to write about more another time. If this target is what you're working on, then NaNoWriMo's goal of a single large traditional novel is just not relevant.

So, I wish all the participants this year the best of luck and I hope everyone has a great time. Even if you don't hit your goal by the end of the month, just keep writing. Let NaNoWriMo be your start, not your end. For me, it will be an inspiration, but only indirectly, from here on out.

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Published 2012/11/01

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