NaNoWriMo Has Begun! (But Not For Me…)

In what is doubtlessly the hundred thousandth post on NaNoWriMo, I wanted to say good luck to everyone crazy enough to undertake the challenge.

And we writers are nothing if not a crazy bunch.

I have never participated in NaNoWriMo. And as with previous years, I won’t be doing it this year. But, happily, for different reasons.

With NaNoWriMo, you can’t have any part of the prose of the story written before starting. You can outline as much as you’d like, have history fully fleshed out, have fully developed character profiles in hand. But no prose. All prose for the novel you’re writing starts on November 1st.

In the past, I had nothing planned. Plenty of ideas, but nothing prepped. More pertinent, though, was the fact that I had no plan as to how to write the novel. No schedule defined, no process conceived. I always convinced myself that without these things I couldn’t possibly jump into the NaNoWriMo fray. I always had excuses as why I just couldn’t do it.

This year, I will not be participating because I’m deep into the first draft of a new novel. I’ve been taking thousand word sized bites out of it day by day, and am a third of the way through it. Progress is being made, and being made well. I have a process, I’m finding the time, I’m no longer making excuses. And as any writer will tell you, don’t interrupt the flow of what your working on if you’re in the groove.

So a fond good luck to all of my writing friends and colleagues who are taking up the NaNoWriMo challenge. Perhaps next year I’ll join you. But for how, I have a story I attend to.

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