I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. After having done so for the past few years, I made a conscious decision not to do it this year. Also, I planned a two week trip smack in the middle of the month. I know it’s not possible for me to write during the trip, nor finish all of it on the days I am home.
We booked this trip last year, in December. I had just completed NaNoWriMo and was preparing Tales of Lunis Aquaria for publication. I knew that I’d take on Devil’s Deal and the other two books later this year. If I wanted to finish at least two more books, I’d have crossed the 50k word count anyhow. Doing 50k in a month is hard on me with everything else going on. I still have my health (which is always going down once October hits), Shiro, and my blog to worry about.
Not participating is a form of self-care. I might take part in next year’s Camp NaNo and aim higher than the 20k I did before. It’s easier on me, but still pushes my limits. I still think NaNoWriMo is a great event for all writers. Especially those who don’t reach the 50k a month easily. This is a time to get uncomfortable, discover your boundaries, and push them. If something in your writing process isn’t working, change your routine. Find a different environment. Use a different medium. Maybe write out of order.
The most valuable thing you can take away from this event is discovering who you are as a writer, what works for you, and maybe you’ll have a draft (or part of a draft). If you need help finding the right rhythm, you might want to check out 5000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter by Chris Fox. It’s part of the NaNoWriMo book bundle by StoryBundle, and it focuses on writing quickly. It has exercises to train you to write faster. Not just the mental ability to come up with new words every second, but also the physical ability of typing, and creating the optimal environment to do your writing.
Lots of luck to all participants this year! Remember, the journey is just as important as the ending.