First of all, don’t get me wrong. I think National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful thing. It’s empowering, it builds community, and it transforms us from wannabe writers into actual writers. But writing a novel in one month is damned hard. It’s like running a marathon at a sprinter’s pace. (Try that, Usain Bolt!) I tried the sreenwriters’ version once–Script Frenzy–and lasted all of three days.
But i have three very specific reasons why I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year or in the foreseeable future.
- My perfectionist nature. I believe very much in the saying, “Don’t get it right, get it written.” NaNoWriMo fulfills that perfectly. Unfortunately, I have a hard time not doing at least two or three passes on each chapter, no matter how carefully I’ve outlined them. I just learn so much during the writing process that I want to use my new-found knowledge. I would quickly get behind on my word count and never catch up. Slow and steady works much better for me.
- It takes place in November. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in the USA, we have this little holiday in November called Thanksgiving. I know if I attempted NaNoWriMo, I would have a house full of hungry guests waiting in the dining room while I mistakenly basted my laptop instead of the turkey because I was trying to finish up the day’s word count. Why can’t they hold NaNoWriMo in January, when there’s nothing to do where I live except stay indoors and go crazy? Which leads me to…
- The Shining. It isn’t the idea of a crazed homocidal maniac running around with an axe that frightens me. It’s the thought of sitting at my desk, typing page after page of “All work and no play makes Kelee a dull girl.” Because I know that’s how I would end up after 50,000 words of non-stop writing.
So, good luck to all of you who join NaNoWriMo this year. I’ll be with you in spirit, if not in mutual insanity.