I’ve been pretty certain about one thing all year. That I wouldn’t be doing NaNoWriMo come November.
There are lots of reasons why:
1. My November is always full of social events. My daughter’s birthday for one, which means at least two parties, one for her class mates and one for family, to cook and clean for. Then there’s my brother’s birthday, the annual christmas party at work bla bla bla. This suck up most of my weekends, which I need to play catch-up with my word count.
2. My husband’s acting hobby takes over the first weekend of November as well, making me all stressed and frustrated because I want to support him and go to see his play, but I really, really need to shut myself into a tiny dark space and plonk away at rattling keyboard keys. His acting thing also means that I am pretty much solo parenting the week leading up to the premiere, which makes me guilty and semi-angry because I am sleep deprived and cranky and not at all an awesome, fantastic mother.
3. The third reason is probably the most compelling. I suck at tossing words haphazardly on the page. I always start out great, I’ve got a great premise, I’ve got an inkling about where I want my story to lead, I’ve got characters inhabiting every little corner of my obsessed brain. I get the first 15.000-25.000 words down with relative ease and then my inner editor, the devil incarnate, starts throwing temper tantrums. My plot stinks, my characters suck, I don’t know shit about the things I am trying to write about. my story is boring, I explain too much, I don’t explain enough. I know this is normal, and I know all those wonderful amazing authors out there who do this full-time, part-time or whatever, struggles with this too, and I know they all tell you to expect the first draft to be utter shite, and that it doesn’t matter, JUST FINISH THE THING. I know they are right. But instead I limp across the finishing line, exhausted and fed up, only to dump the 50.000 words of unfinished shite, down the canyon of Lost Stories.
Then I don’t write for a month.
Every year I vary my approach to NaNoWriMo’ing hoping that it’ll change things. I start with a detailed story plan, I start cold, I try making my NaNo novel up of 30 intertwining flash fictions or I switch my writing to Danish instead of my prefered English. Nothing really changes the experience. So earlier this year I decided to spare myself the headache, the frustrations, anger, self-doubt and sleep-deprived suck-fest, and just ignore the event all together.
And now, with exactly 3 weeks to spare, I am plotting my NaNo Novel.
I blame you, Chuck Wendig! You are lovely and all, but, right now, you are one massive pain in the ass.