Sunday, October 30, 2011

National Novel Writing Month?

So, National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner.

For those of you not in the know, November is National Novel Writing Month, when dozens of thousands of people try to cram out a coherent story comprised of at least 50k words, all in 30 days.

I've participated the last four years and met the 50k goal three of those four years.  It's a fun challenge and an awesome rush.

And I don't think I'm taking part this year.

I'm not really a quitter, so it's sort of odd that I've come to this conclusion.  I mean, I appreciate a good challenge as much as the next guy.   In fact I usually procrastinate until I need to average 2500 words a day before I really dig in and focus on whatever I'm writing for NaNoWriMo.

And it's not that I'm devoid of ideas.  I've literally got a shoebox full of pieces of paper, napkins, business cards with snippets of stories or interesting characters scribbled on them.  Plus I've generally got one "big idea" brewing in my subconscious at any given time.

It's also not because I don't feel comfortable writing, because clearly I've been contributing here for the past 11 months with some degree of regularity.

There are a few reasons why I'm not participating.

I think a big reason is that it really isn't a challenge any more.  Like I said earlier, I usually wait until my back is against the wall before I really decide to focus on the project.  But I can easily churn out the word count.

Another reason is that I don't really dig being driven in that way.  I don't like being intently focused on one thing and having everything else fall by the wayside.  When I'm in my groove, I'm not watching tv, I'm not going out to eat, I'm not staying current with my reading.  I'm just writing, all the time, and it's barely enjoyable.

I'd also rather spend the time paying attention to something that might actually be viable.  I've got ideas that aren't really prose-appropriate that I could watering so they could grow and bear fruit.  I think that November would be better spent developing something rather than creating something that no one will ever seen.

Which brings me to my final point; my NaNoWriMo projects never see the light of day.  People know that they exist, but I've never shared one with anyone. No one has read any of them, not even me.  Come December 1st they become files on my HD that I never revisit.  (Well, except for my first NaNoWriMo project which rests on a hard drive in Vegas because it crashed.)

There's still the chance that on November 15th, I'll decide that I do really want to participate in NaNoWriMo and then I'll grind one out.  But as it stands right now, I'm sitting 2011 out.

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