Look around any social media site and you’ll see that National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is everywhere. Considering November is National Novel Writing Month, it makes sense.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this concept, the basic premise is that writers are challenged to write at least fifty-thousand words of a first draft of their novel. Writers sign up on a website specifically dedicated to this cause. Participants must complete a minimum number of words per day with progress being tracked on the NaNoWriMo website. At the end of the month, all writers who reach the fifty-thousand mark are declared winners. There are no awards to speak of save for a printable certificate and the pride of accomplishment.
Social Media hype for NaNoWriMo usually begins in October, and it’s about that time I have to make that decision as to whether or not this will be the year I give it a go. To date, I’ve not participated in NaNoWriMo. While I love the concept, as I do with anything that promotes writing and writers, I never can bring myself to participate.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but November is not the most ideal month for me to take on an additional project. Being a mother of two teenage daughters, I usually find myself up to my eyeballs in their extracurricular activities. This year is no exception. We’re knee deep in marching band competition season which is in addition to the football games the band is required to attend. Then there’s cheer. One of my girls eats, sleeps and breathes cheerleading. Not ony does she cheer for the school, but she’s a competitive cheerleader. Next month we’ll be traveling to San Jose for the Golden State Spirit Association championships. November also marks the official beginning of the holiday season, which is a busy time for any family. And let’s not forget, writing is not my money making job. I have a full time day job that I’m currently working at six days a week.
Family and work obligations aside, there’s one other reason NaNoWriMo has never spoken to me. For me, it feels as if it turns writing into work. At the height of one of the busiest times in my life, I’m expected to pen a certain number of words daily, good or bad. Like I said, I understand the premise. It gets writers writing. It takes away excuses like mine. I understand it and I support it for others. I just can’t get on board for me. I want to write on my own terms.
For those of you brave enough to through your hats into the NaNoWriMo ring, I commend you, but it's not for everyone.