Confession time: I have never successfully completed NaNoWriMo.
You know the idea, right? Write your heart out for the month of November and end up with the first draft of a 50k novel. Every year that sounds like an awesome plan to me. And every year I fall flat on my face.
Not this year! Yes, it’s November 28th. Yes, I should be frantically typing, desperately trying to squeeze an extra 10,000 words into my writing day—because of course I’m thousands and thousands of words behind on my NaNo novel.
Except that I don’t have a NaNo novel this year. Why? Because I’m not good NaNo material. And I’m finally willing to face that fact.
I don’t need to write like a fiend for one month. No, I need a consistent routine for the whole year. I need to gradually increase my daily word count. And I’ve accomplished that. I used to write 400-600 words a day. Now I write 800-1000. But that’s nowhere near NaNo territory. And throwing my routine off to get those extra words in—it’s just not helpful for me.
I also don’t need the distraction of the NaNo forums. Don’t mistake me—I love them. Hell, I even signed up for NaNo this year as a rebel, just to have access to them. But it always ends the same way: I spend more time on them than I do on my writing! So I deleted my account to remove the temptation.
I’m glad I did. NaNoWriMo will always hold a special place in my heart: even though I’ve never finished a NaNo novel on time, I have finished them. So it’s been a great source of inspiration. But, ultimately, it doesn’t fit with my writing style or the discipline I’m trying to develop.
So I applaud those of you who are finishing up your NaNo novel, whether you’re right on schedule or scrambling for those extra words. And please tell me how well it worked or didn’t work for you! But don’t mind me if I just sit back and take a sip of wine, content with my decision to sit this one out.