To WriMo or Not to WriMo … That is the Question

nanowrimo no nanowrimoNational Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins November 1, and if you are a writer who reads any writing-related websites or blogs, or if you are a writer with an email/Twitter/FB/fill-in-the-blank account, or if you have a pulse chances are that your screen is starting to fill up with articles and tips and pleas to join thousands of other writers crank out tens of thousands of pages during NaNoWriMo.

I am a supporter of NaNoWriMo.  I’ve donated.  I petitioned our local library to host NaNoWriMo events.  I know other writers who have found success completing NaNoWriMo.  I even know teenagers who have done it for fun several years in a row.

And yet, I’ve never participated.

For me, NaNoWriMo comes at one of the busiest times of the year.  Up until this fall, when I enrolled my children in public school, I have always been a homeschooling mom.  And homeschooling four children takes a fair amount of time.  Combine that with some birthdays and Thanksgiving, family visits and the obligatory sightseeing, my part-time (nonwriting) work, LIFE … it has never been a good month for me to decide to spend hours trying to be creative.

And I can’t accept just writing – I want it to be good. I’ve always hesitated because how could I possible write anything “good” under such circumstances?

This year, my kids are in school … but so am I.  And my job is busier than ever.  And we have family visiting. And we’re moving. Into a house that is 3000 miles away and requires a whole-house remodel …. And the excuses are endless.  They will keep coming until the day I die, and even then I’ll probably use the excuse that I have to attend my own funeral.

I’m realizing that if I continue to use “I’m busy” as an excuse, I may never write anything.

So a question forms in my mind: Why NOT NaNoWriMo?

Sure, I’ll be swamped and pressed for time.  I already am. Sure, I might become frazzled and look like a crazy recluse.  I already do. Yes, I might not finish.  Big deal, I haven’t started it yet.  Yes, whatever I write might suck.  Well, the truth is it might but so what? Who will see it?  Besides, the worst writing is the blank page anyway…

In short, I have nothing to lose.

If I only complete half the pages, I will still be ahead of where I am today. And I will have begun.  Perhaps by joining at one of the busiest times of my life and participating to the fullest extent possible for me, I can grow as a writer and as a person.

I’m still undecided.

What do you think? Do you WriMo or No WriMo?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kristi says:

    Since my first NaNo in 2007, I’ve passed on it 3 times. Two of those times I cited not having enough time with a new baby around (by the second year, more like toddler, but still time consuming) and an older one to homeschool. Now that I look back at it, I really regret not at least trying those years. I feel like I failed by not trying, especially since I agonized over whether I could still jump in throughout the whole month.

    My life is not nearly as hectic as yours sounds during November (though right now it is…fortunately it’ll all die down almost exactly in time), but I would personally say go for it. Try it once, because as you say yourself, even if you don’t reach 50,000, if you give it a solid effort and don’t quit after one day, you’ll most likely have gained something from the experience.


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