November officially ended 3 days ago. With it, thousands of new stories have seen the light of day, millions of characters have been born and sheaths of paper and Word documents have darkened with writing. I am sure that over these 30 days, many a writer and individual has found themselves or undergone change that will stay with them for a lifetime.
But I am not one of those people.
My attempts at NaNoWriMo this time around have been just that, mostly : attempts. At first, when I realised around Day 7 that I would not make it, I felt a little bit like I’d failed. That I was giving up, going the easy way. But for all of the motivation that NaNoWriMo gives you, there’s also a pressure to keep writing everyday or continuously, at the very least. And it has to be good too, you know? If, like me, your version of NaNoWriMo consists of blogging everyday, there’s a bit of an added pressure of posting a daily entry. And then you just start sortof manufacturing at some point. You make up stories that are not rooted in anything or write things you think you’re supposed to write.
Don’t get me wrong, though—NaNoWriMo has taught me a lot about my limits.
It’s taught me that sometimes I say I’m too tired to type up a blog post or to write when I’m really not. It’s taught me to go beyond lack of inspiration and view even creative writing in a more practical way. I need to truly make time for writing, I have learned, and not just write when I feel like it or have been randomly inspired. If I wait for inspiration to hit me, then I feel I will never write the things that I really want to write. I will write about things I will happen upon, but never about the thoughts that are hidden so deep in my psyche I cannot even find them. I need to keep digging, to be less whimsical about the act of writing. Because there’s so much more out of me and it would be a shame if I did not squeeze myself a little to get these stories out.
I just wanted to write this as a reminder to myself and hopefully as reassurance to other writers that you don’t have to complete NaNoWriMo if the pace doesn’t suit you. If it makes you stray from your writing goals or makes you feel a sort of obligation that takes every and all pleasure out of writing. At the end of the day— and that’s just my 2 cents— you should feel some kind of positive feeling about your writing, and not dread the prospect of having to do it again tomorrow.
Thankfully, I never did reach that stage. I realised that with everything that was going on in my life in November, daily writing would be more of a stress-inducer than a stress-reliever. So I slowed down a bit. Now that I am a little less busy, I have an idea to make up for the number of posts ‘lacking’ from NaNoWriMo in December. I should be able to do this much, I think.
Thank you to everyone who stuck around for my attempts at NaNoWriMo though, however inconsistent and whimsical the posting was. I appreciate you and the time you spend on this blog 🙂