Writers Be Like: Phew, Is It December Yet?

make sure nanowrimo is fun child-1048399_960_720Time’s up! Put your pencils down. NaNoWriMo is over. So let’s look back on the past month. Raise your hand if you participated this year. Hmmm. I didn’t. Maybe I should have … if I had participated, I would have missed out on:

  • Sleep
  • Four Seahawks games
  • A trip to Lake George
  • My Anniversary (probably couldn’t have gotten away with that one anyway)
  • Four Washington State University Football games (also taking away from sleep, so probably a push)
  • Thanksgiving
  • Pre-Thanksgiving
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Sleep
  • Five Requests for Proposals
  • My son’s school play
  • A two day conference (unrelated to writing)
  • A one day conference (unrelated to writing)
  • Sleep
  • A couple of movies
  • Two Indies Unlimited posts
  • Stuff I can’t write about

For all of you who are 50,000 words further along in your writing career, congratulations! For me — just a bunch of excuses.

Would I have liked to NaNoWriMo? Sure, it would be great to dedicate a month to writing. Is it practical for me? Not in November.

If you didn’t participate, don’t feel left out. You can make any month your personal NaNoWriMo. Why not … February — no real holiday and the weather typically keeps you locked up inside the house until April.

Sure, I get it. If you decide on a different month, you don’t get the camaraderie of going through the process with others. You don’t have the competition with others. You don’t have the public shaming of not succeeding.

Okay, let’s get real. NaNoWriMO is only 1,667 words per day. If writing is your living, every month should be NaNoWriMo.

If not, it’s only about two hours of writing per day, give or take another two hours to get in the swing of things and another hour of mindlessly surfing social media sites and stalking that braggadocios NaNoWriMo participant that’s at 25,000 words by the 3rd of the month.

But seriously, it’s December and NaNoWriMo is over. It’s time to breathe and congratulate yourself … or it’s time to breath and not beat yourself up for failing. Your writing chops have gotten a workout, regardless of the number of words you achieved.

A tip for future NaNoWriMos: Have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Embrace the connection with other NoNo-ers. Use it as a reminder of the fun of writing. We all write for a number of reasons. However, the majority of us have at least one common thread — we love to write.

NaNoWriMo success is relative, regardless of your final word count. Whatever you accomplished, you’re a winner. Unless of course, you missed your anniversary, your kid’s school play, and haven’t slept for a month.

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

7 thoughts on “Writers Be Like: Phew, Is It December Yet?”

  1. I’ve always thought that the organizers of NaNo never had to plan, shop, and cook for Thanksgiving dinner, not to mention getting the house ready for guests (including over-nighters.) Your idea of February instead of November should go viral. Just sayin.

  2. Good thoughts, Jim. I hadn’t done NaNo in the past, because November’s a tough month. I did it this year, and I wasn’t that happy at the end. I think if you’re writing regularly, and finishing the projects you want, you should be happy as a writer, whether you NaNo or not.

  3. I didn’t participate this year, but I did write about 40,000 words. Thing is, that’s a typical month for me.

    I’m actually planning to aim for about 50k a month every month next year. Pretty much all the career writers I know are writing at that rate or better.

    NaNoWriMo is sort of a “one month taste” for amateurs to check out what most pros do every month all year long.

    1. Thanks, Kevin. That was kind of my point. I did NaNo one year, and it was in my rookie year of real writing. Just as you wrote.

      Pro’s go to work every day. Regardless of your output. The difference between a hobby and a career is goals. Set them, acknowledge them and go for them.

  4. What a great idea to have it in February rather than November! I absolutely agree with you that November is way too busy planning around and ahead of important events at years end. Why don’t we start a movement that has nano month in February? Will you do it? I would certainly participate in that, even though I seem to be busy all the time, either writing or on social media and, yes, I’m ashamed to admit, neglecting other important things, like family and friends.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: