As a writer who blogs and who reads blogs, I felt a little out-of-step the last few weeks. I keep seeing other people’s posts about NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t said a thing. That’s because I’m giving it a miss this year.
For those of you who don’t recognize the abbreviation, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. What it amounts to is this — in the month of November, participants promise to draft a novel. One of my problems with this is that so much of my work is for young readers. The NaNoWriMo goal is 50,000 words. I can draft a middle grade novel and not meet that word count. By NaNoWriMo standards, I’m a failure.
For me, the 2021 reality is this. I’ve committed to not one but four nonfiction books. Three of them are drafted. I rewrote one last week. I’m rewriting another this week. I also have a chapter and an outline due for the book I haven’t written yet.
Yes, I can work on other things. But do I want to try to write 50,000 words?
I would say yes if I was reworking my cozy. But before I do that, I want to finish the draft of my middle grade SF novel.
I’m extremely goal oriented. If I set a goal, I want to meet it. I don’t have 50,000 words to go on my middle grade novel.
So I am going to set a personal goal. I’m going to do my contract work. I’m blogging. I’m teaching my classes. AND I’m going to start working on my book proposal again and my middle grade novel. If I do a bit very work day, I’ll have made serious progress by the end of the month.
I’m not saying that YOU shouldn’t take part in NaNoWriMo. Do it if it makes sense for you.
If somewhere deep inside, you know NaNoWriMo is just not the path you need to take, then don’t. Write what you need to write. Write what will move your craft forward. It really is that simple. You too can say No No NaNo.