NaNooooh….crap, it’s November?

If you’re a writer who knows how to use the internet (and odds are you are), you’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. I like to call it “Holy shit, it’s November already?”

For anyone who doesn’t know, basically, the point of NaNo is to put down 50,000 words on the page in one month. Thirty days. It averages out to 1,667 words per day. The idea is, when you’re done, you’ll have a finish first draft to flesh out and edit later.*

This is NaNoWriMo

This year has freaking flown by. Last year flew by, too. So did the one before.

So, I realize that if I’m waiting for free time to do NaNo, I may be waiting forever. (But seriously, November is the worst month. It’s not my fault.) Last year, I said “Okay, we always travel in November, there’s no time – if only there was a NaNo in a different month, I could do it!” And then someone told me there’s also CampNaNo in July, which, if my understanding is correct, is the exact same thing with less snow on the ground. I made no effort whatsoever to write 50k words in July this year. For some reason, I always feel bad about this. I happened to mention on Twitter that I was thinking about doing NaNo this year but might be too busy. Let’s just say the responses I got were less supportive than I’ve come to expect from the Twitter writing community.

I actually do tend to fast draft. My normal writing style is to get everything out on paper and edit it later. It’s not really about needing to do fifty thousand words in thirty days. I can do that. It’s about the amount of sleep I want to get and the quality of life I want to have and making choices. My books will get written. They don’t need to be written in November.

You may have seen my post two days ago about how there’s no one correct way to write. I wasn’t think of NaNo when I wrote it, but it’s a good reminder. I don’t have to want to do NaNo. I don’t have to cancel all my social engagements for the month. It’s okay that I have boxes to pack and a house to move. And I don’t have to make excuses. I’m a writer. I love to write. And I don’t want to do NaNo. If you do, that’s great. We can still be friends.

But neither of us should have to apologize for our choices. And there’s no reason to make people feel bad for wanting to do NaNo, not wanting to do it, or trying but not hitting 50k. We’re all in this together.

* Unless you write children’s books, no one expects you to have a full-length novel completed in a month, although some people like to really challenge themselves. My CP wrote 120k words last year.

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