It’s been long enough. First off, I completely get why people do it. It makes sense that taking a month to discipline yourself into carving out chunks of time to write, a time when so many people around the world are also writing, encouraging you on, all of that goodness would help a person get 50,000 words onto a page.
I’m very competitive. I do not like to lose. As soon as I start to feel like I’m losing, I hate whatever game I’m playing and just want to quit.
I’m also not a quitter. It makes for a really uncomfortable experience when part of me wants to pout and storm off and the other part is like nah we gotta at least finish this bitch. Add to that the desire to be more forgiving and loving towards myself and you get a hot freaking mess come mid-November.
I think I got around 20,000 words written, which is no small thing. But unlike last summer, when I was churning out several thousand words a day, my heart wasn’t in it. My head was barely in it–more focused on word count and “sprints” and the desire to edit my current story rather than start working on the sequel. Plus my husband was around, which makes it so hard.
That’s the best problem to have as a writer/human being, though. I have someone in my life whose very presence makes it hard to focus on other things. Even if he’s in the other room working on schoolwork or watching TV, a part of me just wants to be beside him, and feels like any moment I’m not is ultimately squandered. That also makes it difficult to pursue my writing sometimes, which is frustrating and makes me angry with him for making me love him so damn much. There was a lot of moodiness in November that only added to the misery of failing at Nanowrimo wordcounts and falling behind in working on my current novel.
So, for me, it was a very good lesson learned: National Novel Writing Month is not a thing I’ll participate in again, at least not in the near future.