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NaNoWriMo is Stupid and You Won't Change My Mind

Okay, it’s not that stupid.

I freely admit the concept is good.

I do, however, think that it’s at a stupid time of year. The worst part of the year for productivity. I think most people would agree that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is at the beginning of the busiest time of year for most Americans. I’m wholly aware that the rest of the world does not celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the same way the United States does. In my house, it’s like a switch flips once October 31st rolls into November 1st. Maybe it’s because I am married to an extrovert, but it seems like I move from one event to the next, leaving me little time to do any writing.

Sure, I could throw up a peace sign to my husband and dog to sequester myself in my office to do some writing in between and after all said events, but I already know it wouldn’t work out for me. One, I love my husband and dog too much to just ignore them. I enjoy being around my hubs, and I enjoy walking or playing with my dog. Two, after events, I need time to unwind. So, even if I get home from an event at a reasonable hour, it can easily turn into not a reasonable hour by the time I feel re-energized enough after being around people to be constructive.

Here’s what I’m saying. For me, NaNoWriMo is never productive in writing. The most I’ve ever accomplished was the beginnings of a novella, and that project took me another two years to complete. I would much prefer if NaNoWriMo was in January.

It has nothing to do with resolutions.

January, by default, is a reset. I’m not talking about the multiple “I’m going to...” statements that I may or may not utter (I’m not a big fan of resolutions, but that’s a different topic). January is a major slowdown from the blaze of the holidays. And don’t convince me it’s not a roaring fire of craziness.

Jar of coins spilled on floor
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

By the time January rolls around, most of the time, people here are ready for a break from the past two months and in need of reset. In fact, this is the first year that I took part in a No Spend January, meaning I did not spend any money on extras. The coffee shops, the quick little snack from the convenience store, Popeyes because I smell it, or that bottle of water purely because I was thirsty and couldn’t wait two minutes to get home (yes, I do that more than I should). Since I’m writing this in December, I don’t know the outcome of the challenge I’ve set, but I’m hopeful and determined.

I’m off track.

Along with this idea of a reset, at least for me, comes with the mentality of productivity. I make myself focus on fewer things instead of the hundreds of tiny little details that I can readily lose my focus on, which is exactly why I think NaNoWriMo should be in January, or even February.

A computer with notebook and coffee
Photo by Nick Morrison

It’s not traditional, and I doubt I’ll change the norm, but I’m going to take part in NaNoWriMo in January. I’m tired of not getting the joy of participating simply because I don’t have the time, plus my family and friends shouldn’t have to suffer for the sake of my art. I love writing, but it’ll never be at the expense of a relationship with those closest to me. If you are an author/writer, mark your calendars for next year and join me! If I remember, I’ll update this post to let you know how it went. Also, if you really think, it’s a better month NaNoWriMo anyway because you get one extra day for writing or one day of slacking off because you need a mental break.

Until next time, Fictionados!



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