Although it was probably doomed all along, I officially pulled the plug on NaNoWriMo 2013 this past Saturday. Too many days eaten up with other things paired with too few words on the days that were left led to the conclusion there was no reasonable chance of reaching 50,000 words by the end of the month. And rather than spending the next seven days torturing myself and growing to resent a story I’ve genuinely come to like, I decided to call it a month and let NaNoWriMo fade away.
And not just for 2013. I think I may be done with the idea in general. Not to say it isn’t a worthy endeavor for those who choose to engage in it; anything that encourages the creative juices to flow shouldn’t be disparaged. But one win in five tries is enough to convince me that NaNoWriMo simply isn’t for me.
In a lot of ways, that one success was perhaps a bad thing. Because it let me sit on my laurels. I could bask in having done this one thing. I could point to it and say, “Eh, I’ve done it before, doing it again will be no problem.” And when I let things sit idle, I could say, “But I did that one thing last month.” But “last month” became “two months ago.” Then “four months ago.” And eventually a distant reminder, a past glory to repeatedly lean on.
Well that’s not going to cut it. Instead of one frantic month of fleeting success, I need to get into a regular pattern. And if I can establish those patterns with my diet and exercise, I can establish them with my writing. Thirty minutes a day for walking? Then an hour a day for writing. Something. Anything. Make it a habit, not some yearly fling.
So, this ends National Novel Writing Month for me. Let Personal Writing Lifetime begin again in earnest. Although PeWriLi doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.