As most writerly folks know, today is the first day of NaNoWriMo where scribblers around the world pledge that they’ll get 50,000 words–any words–on the page by the end of the month. Each year when this event kicks off, I think about joining in. Then opt out. With 170,000 participants last year who collectively penned over 2.4 billion words, it’ll do just fine without my meager output.
Here’s my reasons for saying no to NaNoWriMo:
First, I’m about 20,000 words through the rough draft of a novel. The national writing frenzy is all about starting a brand new project, and I don’t want to put my current story aside. It’s at a fragile stage where I’d possibly never pick it back up again. I’ve lost sight of how awesome this idea was when I first started hammering at it. The sheen is gone. While part of me would love to start on a squeaky, new idea, the rest must resist. Also, while I might have this rough draft done by the end of the month, if not that’s okay too. I’m withholding freak-outs until the end of the year.
Second, I’m heading off this weekend for the SCBWI Weekend on the Water retreat at Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Sounds very spiffy. I haven’t been to this before so not sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to getting some early feedback on the novel that’s underway. It’ll be good to meet some other writers (and illustrators) who focus on kid lit and stretch the writer muscle a bit. Plus, a little time in a beautiful place never hurts.
Finally, and most importantly, I have an appointment with my six-year-old niece to bake an apple pie in Massachusetts. It’s become our annual Thanksgiving tradition. One of the posts I read on NaNoWriMo mentioned how it’s a great excuse to get out of Thanksgiving obligations with the family. A few years back before the nieces and nephews arrived I may have agreed, but now I wouldn’t trade the pie making for any number of words. I figure in another ten years, I can hand off the pie responsibilities entirely. And yes, the crust will be from scratch. The secret is to make it the night before and refrigerate so that it’s easier to roll out.
So, another year with no NaNoWriMo for me. Best of luck to all who are participating, maybe next year I’ll join you…