Why I Didn’t NaNo This Year (And Why I Regret It)

Hey there, Sprint Shack readers, and long time no speak. As you may not have noticed (since Faye and Taylor have been doing such an awesome job picking up the slack!), I haven’t been around much. Not only on The Sprint Shack, but on Twitter, my personal blog, and basically any other social media or publishing platform that holds me accountable to my writing. And I have one thing to blame, if we’re getting more specific than simply “myself,” and not using easy excuses like personal issues and a busy schedule:

I didn’t NaNo this year.

In our NaNo kickoff post, I did say I was doing NaNo, and that’s because I had every intention of participating as of the first day. The only problem is that, due to a trip in the last few weeks of October and much less free time than I originally anticipated, I didn’t properly prepare myself long enough in advance. I had no plan whatsoever and defaulted to finishing my WIP, which is a complete mess. And so the first day went by, and then the second, and then the first week… and I was quickly resigning to letting 2014 be a pass.

I suppose I’m the opposite of Taylor this month. While she wrote recently why she shouldn’t have NaNoed, I feel like I should have. There’s no way I would have completed the 50k—that’s a given. The fact is, this past month was too busy for me to properly dedicate to NaNoWriMo, for a variety of personal and work-related reasons.

However, in light of all I had going on, I forgot the point of NaNoWriMo: not to write a book, not to write 50k, but simply to write. Regularly. And so, I dropped off my other writing duties. I didn’t update my personal blog, I barely logged on to Twitter because I knew I’d feel jealous and ashamed while seeing everyone else chip away at their word counts, and I dropped the ball on several scheduled Sprint Shack posts and #TNightSprints sessions. I fully believe that if I kept up with my writing, it would have caused a chain reaction to hold me accountable for all these other related things.

Because that’s the kind of positive habit that writing every day eventually forms. It’s the idea behind NaNoWriMo and Write Chain, and heck, it’s even the idea behind word sprinting.

So, all in all, I wish I NaNoed this year. But since I didn’t, I have zero excuse not to rock next November and the Camp NaNoWriMo sessions before it!

Did you participate in NaNo this year? Why or why not? Let us know how it went or, if you didn’t, how you feel about your decision!

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4 thoughts on “Why I Didn’t NaNo This Year (And Why I Regret It)

  1. Don’t belt yourself up. I NaNoed and regretted it as it totally turned me off my work. I have read the same thing from quite a few participants. I have questioned how mentally healthy trying to achieve so much in a month is, in the past. I have to say, use it as a kick starter, but in practical terms, in a crazy busy month, it’s not a great idea. Creative brains need to breathe and sometimes to rest. Pushing can be fatal.

  2. Don’t worry, there’ll be other NaNos.
    I don’t want to sound braggadocios or preachy but I have a suggestion… Why not do what I do and plan your project(s) earlier in the year and put the plans away for a while? I don’t usually make a full out schedule. I only did that in 2012 because it was my first year doing NaNo… I also try to do my Christmas shopping in August and September because then it means I don’t have to worry about doing it in November when I should be writing
    I am not permitted to work due to having a learning disability and profound dyspraxia but that does not mean I am not insanely busy, I take dance, violin lessons, I’m homeschooling myself because due to my severe lack of ability with numbers, I can’t go to college. I go to three writing groups per week and… I have to have support for 10 hours per week because of the disability.

    • That’s fantastic though, that you’re so diligent and work so hard! I love the idea of planning out an idea earlier in the year and putting it away until NaNo, too. Gives it time to breathe and grow in your subconscious. :) Thanks for the suggestions, and good luck with your writing and all those awesome things you’re doing!

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