It’s officially over, and I’ve never been more grateful to stop writing. I’m glad that I participated and really glad I finished. You’re sensing a but aren’t you? Here it is: I won’t be repeating NaNo again. It’s obviously wildly successful and works for a lot of people, but I’m not one of them.
First off, November has to be the second worst month to do this (December being the first). More than enough stress and anxiety to go around without adding the insanity of NaNo. I neglected things I had no business neglecting. My father – who has been ill – needed my butt with him not pouring insane hours into the crazy pursuit of 50,000 words in 30 days.
Secondly, I have worked hard on my craft and found myself throwing everything I’ve learned out the window just to get something, anything on the page. For someone who writes tightly plotted books, the hurry up format was a complete disaster. (As is the resulting manuscript) I broke rules and NOT in a good way and worried about the bad habits I might be developing during that month. The anxiety and stress of that alone made it not worth it.
I still believe in this concept. A lot of people benefit from it and that’s a great thing. My writer’s group has done our own version of this before. We set our own parameters (and never do it in the fall around holidays) so that it works best for us. We are planning our own version of it in the spring not to write a novel in a month but to edit one. For those who do this faithfully every year, you have my profound respect. It is definitely a formidable undertaking. I’m proud of the accomplishment, but I can live with having only officially participated once.
What about you? Do you NaNo every year?