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Decisions, Decisions – Dropping NaNoWriMo

23 September, 2010
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I’ve found myself, over the last few days, coming to a few decisions regarding my writing. Or, more accurately, my writing schedule. I’m not dropping the novel or the editing or the blog, or anything like that. However, I have decided not to attempt NaNoWriMo this year.

It’s been a few years since I last took part in NaNoWriMo and I fancied trying it again this year, but I’ve realised that really isn’t feasible. My plan had been to finish the current novel – which was going to be just about possible – and jump straight into NaNoWriMo with only a couple of days off. However, since I made that plan, other things have come up. The novel is still going well, but only taking two days off out of three months has become too exhausting a prospect. I think I really need at least one day off a week to be at my best. Then there’s the fact that a short story opportunity that requires submissions by the first of October has just come up. I’ve finished the first draft already, but that meant taking about four days out of the novel schedule, which was enough to put me behind.

So, the simple decision seems to be to drop NaNoWriMo and I’m feeling a lot more relaxed now that I’ve done so. The novel will still be finished around the start of November, just not definitely by the 1st of the month. I’ll also have time to work on other things without digging myself into a big, stressful hole. I don’t think I need the motivation of NaNoWriMo any more to make myself write – these last couple of months have been proof of that. And whilst I will miss the camerarderie of NaNo, I can always be more active on the Absolute Write forums instead.

This particular decision has left me feeling both a bit disappointed and quite relieved. It seems to me that decisions in writing are always like this – you just can’t do everything and some things have to get dropped along the way. Have any of my readers had to drop things lately, and how did you feel about doing so?

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3 Comments
  1. 2 December, 2010 8:40 pm

    It’s always hard to drop things you wanted to do, but sometimes it has to be done. I had to drop my novel for nano and write my thesis instead, which was a wrench. I did it for nano, so I still got use the motivation, forums and nifty stats page! But I found I wasn’t very active on the forums like I was last year.

    You’re so right about needing time off too.

    • 3 December, 2010 9:22 am

      Hi knotrune. Dropping things is difficult, but I think it becomes easier once you’ve worked out what needs to be your priority. I decided I needed to finish one novel before trying to write another for NaNoWriMo and for you it was your thesis. The community over there is great though and I did miss it.

      Maybe we’ll both have more luck with NaNo next year!

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