Why Participate in NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writng Month
National Novel Writng Month

I’m almost assuredly not going to complete 50,000 words or my novel this November; which begins in two hours. So you may be wondering why I am setting myself up with intense pressure and a feeling of failure for the next 30 days.

I want to write a novel. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was about six years old. I’ve written a novella, but not a novel. I want to say that I’ve completed that goal. If I don’t keep trying I’ll never finish a novel.

I know already that this year is probably going to be a worse attempt than previous years; this is my third attempt at NaNoWriMo. Tomorrow, the first day of NaNoWriMo, I start a new freelance assignment. Plus I’m continuing to look for full-time work which really must be my number one priority.

Secondly, I haven’t even finished my plot for NaNoWriMo this year. I usually like to have it all mapped out in a nice outline that I can mindlessly follow. But this year, I have a concept idea in my head and very little actual plot mapped out on paper. Could this be a winning strategy for me?  I highly doubt it.  It sounds more like a way to get lost in the details and never get out of chapter one.

Thirdly, I have about five books that I’m supposed to read and would like to review in the next thirty days. One of which is 800 pages long and is due for a book club that I started and I’m managing. I should at least be responsible enough to read the book in the month in which it has been assigned. (The book is “From Here to Eternity” by James Jones. It is excellent; long but so far a quick read.)

These are all excuses, of course. If I am a writer, I will write everyday regardless of the events and demands of my life. If there is a novel in me, it will rise to the surface and force its way out of me; if I am a writer. But the only way I will be a writer is if I write. Write every day.

Therefore, regardless of all the reasons I have just outlined for my most assured failure in this endeavor tomorrow, I will start to write my novel that is only a concept in my head instead of a plot outline on paper like I would prefer it. I will work a full-time day job and keep my butt in my chair for a few more hours tomorrow night and write my required words; maybe if I get lucky, I’ll write more than my required words on the first day and start off strong. And then I’ll crawl into bed and read a few pages of a book that will help inspire me to write my own novel. So that the next day I can get up and do it all over again. Because if I am a writer that is what is going to be required of me.

I might fail. Again. But maybe, I won’t. And I won’t know until I try.

Good luck to all those who attempt to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. – Friedrich Nietzsche