Why you should ditch NaNoWriMo this year
October is every writer’s worst month.
There are those who are so excited for November that can’t wait for this month to burn, and there are the others who are freaking out right now because, come on, 2 weeks are not enough to plan a whole month of writing.
Where am I? None of the above.
I will be cheating this year, and use NaNoWriMo to edit my novel.
Yes, I plan to finish writing the last chapter at the end of October, so my November will be full of “What the hell did I write here?”, “This doesn’t make any sense!” and “I hate everything and everyone!” (The last one fills every month of my years, actually.)
<<Alex, excuse me for interrupting you but… What are you talking about?>>
Well, my friends who have been living under a rock until now, let me enlighten you.
Na(tional)No(vel)Wri(ting)Mo(nth) is a writing project that sets up in November, when writers push themselves to write 50k words in 30 days.
No, it’s not hell, it’s actually possible to do it. If you’re not like me.
But if you are, here’s why you should fill your November with early Christmas songs, too many cups of tea, forget about NaNoWriMo and write at your own pace.
- If you are a fellow PROCRASTINATOR.
If you ever end up on my Twitter account, you’ll have 80% probability of reading something about procrastination. Because, well, I have a sad Master Degree in it. I’m super organised. I’ve a calendar, I have the whole plot of my novel written down as a flowchart, but I’m also a procrastinator. What a paradox.
It’s too hard for people like me to stick to a schedule, to write the same amount of words everyday, to tell myself “Alex, come on, sit down and write RIGHT NOW.”
My bad side laughs every time my good side tries, and she takes me to bed. Or she turns Netflix on (Even worse! Netflix and YouTube are like Time Travel transportation. It feels like it’s just been 5 minutes, but you are 1 hour forward.)
- If you are not MOTIVATED
NaNoWriMo is a commitment. You don’t have to have a perfect and shiny story on the 30th of November, but you should at least have a whole first draft. Nothing happens if you don’t reach the goal, but you’ll might be disappointed because of the failure.
If, analysing yourself deeply, you get to know that you are so not ready for 50k new words, don’t push yourself.
Nothing good will come out of you.
- If you are a plotter inside, without ANY IDEA
There are 2 kinds of writers: the Plotters and the Pantser, weird ways of saying to distinguish people who plan everything from their opposites. If you belong to the second category, you’ll be fine. You won’t even be thinking about NaNoWriMo right now. You’ll wake up on the 1st of November and think “Okay, let’s grab
pen and paperthe laptop and write the first thing that comes up in our minds!”
For those who belong to my same team, the “OCD Plotters who must have everything under control” squad, and still don’t have any idea written on a flowchart, don’t risk it.
- If you don’t have TIME
<<But Alex, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time!>>
What a stupid quote. This can be real if you use the “I didn’t have time” excuse when someone tells you “You never text me or call me!”
Yes, in that case, even if I was super busy, I could have found 2 minutes to write a text or make a quick call. (In the possibility that I didn’t forget about texting or calling you, but that’s another story.)
Writing doesn’t take 2 minutes. Writing takes hours. Hours for planning, thinking, writing just 3 sentences.
If you don’t have time, if you wake up at 6 am every morning, work until 5 pm and, when back home, your brain has not the necessary energy to cooperate, you can say you don’t have time. Because we don’t just need time to write, we also need concentration, energy (And caffeine still doesn’t work on my, damn it.) and being in the right mood.
If you don’t have time to write 50k words in a month (That, to be honest, is almost the amount of words of The Great Gatsby, which took Fitzgerald more than 1 year to write) don’t do NaNoWriMo.
I’m not ashamed to say that I failed my first one, because of the reasons above. That’s why I’m telling you to don’t do it just because everyone is going to, do it just if you feel you really can succeed.
And if, after reading this, now you’are thinking “I will partecipate because I know I can do it.”, good luck to you, fellow writer!