National Novel Writing Month is around the corner. Those who plot are happily working away on their outlines and the pantsers are counting down the days to get started. Thirty days of marathon writing starts November 1st. Around this time last year I was narrowing down my story ideas, writing out a few main story beats, and plotting my post-Halloween cheap candy spree.
Last year I learned good lessons about myself by sticking with writing a story I ended up disliking towards the end.
This year I am a little hesitant about taking part in NaNoWriMo.
There's a little voice in my head that keeps saying, “Hey! NaNoWriMo is super fun and all, but remember those three novels you already started? What about them? Should you be starting yet another project? One is like ten chapters away from being done!”
I can't help feeling it's right.
Do I participate in NaNoWriMo this year, with a new project, though I have other projects that need attention? Shouldn't I work at finishing one of those projects before I even consider starting another?
I am notoriously bad for having writing ADD. I am bombarded by story ideas and want to chase after each new shiny plot point, but in the process neglect other works in progress. The last year I've worked hard to put time into those stories, but they are still a long way from being done. Do I need to add another one to the pile?
On the other hand, I enjoy NaNoWriMo. It gives me an excuse to turn down social requests, to lock myself in my apartment (or coffee shop) and just type away. NaNoWriMo gives me license to try new things, explore new worlds and characters. It pushes me to write instead of doing all the other things I need/do.
I've found it difficult the last six months to write anything at all. Both my blogs suffered for it. My works in progress suffered for it. I will not say I've had writer's block. It's a catch-all excuse for not wanting to admit you (I) haven't been putting in the effort. I straight up admit that I have been finding excuse after excuse not to write. I have to make some difficult decisions and I don't want to make them. So, I've been putting everything on hold. I'm tired and haven't felt like taking the time to be creative. I've had ideas and I might jot them down from time to time, but writing anything more seems overwhelming.
Maybe, though, NaNoWriMo is what I need. Something structured, with clear goals, a supportive and fun community to cheer me on. To commit and acknowledge that, yeah, I've had my thumb up my nose but it's time to pull it out for thirty days. After that thirty days I can do what I want; keep writing, go on hiatus, hide in the blankets on my bed and ignore the world, whatever. For thirty days, though, I will get my butt moving and be creative.
I haven't reached a final decision yet, but I 'm leaning towards taking part in NaNoWriMo this year in the hopes it rekindles my motivation. If I do I plan on taking a different approach to NaNoWriMo this year. I have a competitive personality but I will give myself permission to fail. Obviously I still want to 'win' and write 50K words. If I fall short, though, then that's okay too.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so what are you writing?