After I learned that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was a thing, I’ve always felt a sort of pressure each year November comes. I feel like, “Well, everyone else is doing it, and it makes you a better writer, so I should be participating this year and writing 50,000 words in thirty days.”
But, the last couple years, I’ve always passed NaNo by. You may have as well, and felt kinda guilty or bad that you didn’t do NaNo. However, it is 100% fine to pass NaNo. You don’t have to do it every year–or even once for that matter–to be a great writer.
Why didn’t I participate? Well, there are a few reasons. Here are some of the big ones. Along the way I’ll also explain why these reasons are valid and why it is totally okay to decline NaNo.
1: It’s a Big Deal
That sounds like a horrible excuse. Now I just sound like a coward. XD
However, if you think about it for a little while, this is a totally understandable reason to pass NaNo.
NaNoWriMo is a big deal. It’s not a decision you make overnight and start the next morning on. You’ve got to plan for NaNo, flesh out your new characters before hand, figure out a good plot, outline that plot,
stock up on snacks 😀, and so much more!
So NaNo shouldn’t be something you just rush into. It should be something you really take the time to think about and plan. So if that’s not something you wanted or couldn’t do this year, then you don’t have to feel bad about it.
2: It Takes Energy
NaNo takes lots and lots of energy. It’s not something that you do for five minutes every day and then you’re done. NaNo is hard work to finish, you have to be writing 1,500+ words every single day! That’s a lot of writing every day for thirty whole days! See why you need that stock of snacks? 😉
Really though, it will take a lot out of you, and this is a big reason I decided to not participate in NaNo this month. I didn’t want to mentally prepare myself to face such a big task for a whole month. I didn’t want to commit to something so big this year.
3: It Takes Time
And lastly, yes, time. Time time time. So many things to do and so little time.
If you want to beat NaNo, you’re going to be taking a sizable chunk of your day (or several chunks of your day) to sit down and punch out some words.
Figuring out how to find time throughout each day for a month is hard. There are always things to do, places to go, people to visit, and distractions to draw you away from your writing. So not only do you have to work on your story, prepare yourself mentally to face NaNo, and stock up on snacks, you also have to figure out when you’re actually going to do the whole writing thing!
And once again, this was another reason for me to pass NaNo. I’m working on writing projects that I didn’t really want to pause for a month to start a new project, and I didn’t want to figure out what time each day I was going to be able to sit down and write nearly 2,000 words.
In short, I just wasn’t up for it this year. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever do it! Perhaps…perhaps next year… 😉
So, to wrap up, there are several large, perfectly valid reasons why NaNo may not be for you, for just one year or forever. It’s not shameful to pass NaNo up. The only reason it’s there is for the people who want to participate, not to mock the people who don’t want to.
If you did do NaNo this year, congrats!! Even if you did or didn’t win, it’s an accomplishment in and of itself to take that step to say you are going to attempt to write 50,000 words in a month.
If you didn’t do NaNo, like me,
welcome to the club it’s perfectly fine. We did miss out on the snacks though. 😦 In fact, it’s awesome that you put your foot down and didn’t attempt NaNo knowing you weren’t motivated to do it! It takes courage and deep thinking to be able to step back when you know you need to step back, instead of getting rushed on by other people and trying to win NaNo when you’re not ready for it.
Did you do NaNo this year? If so, did you win?
Did you decide like me to pass it by this year? What are your thoughts on NaNo and what are some reasons you didn’t participate this year?
I’d love to chat with you in the comments!
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