Letting go of NaNoWriMo

Posted: November 17, 2014 in writing
Tags: , , ,

I decided over the weekend to stop doing NaNoWriMo this year. Not because of NaNo itself, but because of how it fits in with everything else I’m doing at the moment.

NaNoWriMo was, for me, meant to be as much a social tool as a motivational one, a way to get to meet other writers in the area and talk with people about writing. I have other ways to get myself motivated to write a lot, and right now they’re working fine. But the irony is that NaNo itself, alongside my other workload, meant I had no time for the socialising and contact making it was meant to be about. I’d loaded myself up a little too heavily to fit that in.

And while I could just about keep up with NaNo while keeping up with my freelance work, I couldn’t do either as well as I wanted. I didn’t have the flexibility to play catchup if something disrupted one or the other chunk of writing, or to properly plan ahead and build in the flexibility to avoid setbacks.

It’s been an interesting experiment, and I’ve got some good work out of it, but I’m calling it here. I’m not going to do my NaNo 50k this year, and given my reasons, I’m perfectly happy with that.

On the double plus side, this means I can get back to the work editing my own existing stories that I was playing with before NaNo, so that should mean more stories see the light of day soon.

Good luck to those of you still doing NaNo. And now I’m off to write!

  1. Totally justified, it sounds like you’re really cracking on with your other stuff and that’s great.

  2. jhmae says:

    Sorry to hear that πŸ™‚

  3. Sounds like giving it up was the best decision. I’ve found it a useful motivational tool, and it’s pushed me to finally try writing fiction, which I’m finding quite fun (it’s yet to be seen whether the end product will be any good πŸ˜‰ )

  4. I never manage to do NaNo, heh. I tried for a few years but was always more interested in my current work than in starting a new one for the month. My only coworker who’s doing it opted to just do the NaNo15Mo — or whatever they call it where you pledge to write 15 minutes a day. We’re all too busy with other things. Good try though!

    • I think not focusing on my existing projects may have been part of my mistake. I have quite a lot of editing piled up, and leaving that untouched made it all a bit more stressful.

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