Third, what the hell was I waiting till November for? You want to want to be real boy, Pinocchio? Er, I mean, a real writer? Then don’t set 1/12th of the year aside to do it. Do it always, and do it unconditionally. You don’t have to write a novel between November 1st and 30th. That is not your limitation. When I did it, I didn’t want to cheat, and I wanted to hit the mark, but it was all… illusory. Somebody else made up these rules. Not me. You want to write a novel? Write a novel. Start now. Outline it, write it, revise it, sell it. This isn’t meant to be insulting to the participants, though it will sound that way: just because the herd is moving doesn’t mean you need to move with the herd. Okay? That was my issue. I thought I had to move with the herd. Turns out, I didn’t.
“I don’t have the time to write a novel; as part of NaNoWriMo or any other time.”
“Work is hectic; I barely have time for my family, and if I go to bed before midnight, it’s an early night.”
“I’m lucky to blog a few times/week, but at least it’s keeping the gears greased.”
I have a million valid reasons for not focusing on one of my main writing goals: to write fiction; short stories and novels. Most of those reasons are really just excuses, though.
Exhibit A: I’m about to spend 3+ hours watching a football game, after spending the morning catching up on email, Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve been debating doing NaNoWriMo again this month, but I just don’t see where I have the time to even come close to the 50,000 word goal. That seems like a legitimate reason not to do it, but then I read Chuck Wendig’s post this morning, quoted above, and realized I was looking at things the wrong way.
Back in 2004, the NaNoWriMo exercise worked for me because I was trying to transition from writing poetry, stretching my muscles beyond the 3-minute time limit of the slam. I only wrote 15,000 words, and the story was a mess, but I realized that I squeeze time for writing into my schedule if it was important enough to me.
Writers write. Period.