To NaNo or not to NaNo

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The start of October always brings with it a certain melancholy for me. I miss autumn in New England. I’m always Homesick in Autumn.

But often that melancholy is overshadowed by the anxiety I get when my newsfeed starts to be overloaded with posts about National Novel Writing Month. I mean, NaNo isn’t until November…why are you pressuring me so early?! My stomach gets a little tied up when I consider all the technicalities of NaNo: Can I really get in over 1600 words per day? Will my kids leave me alone so that I can at least try?! Can’t I just neglect…I mean ignore…. I mean…oh forget it, there’s no escaping them! Perhaps I should show myself mercy right now and decide against this avoidable source of stress.

But the truth is, despite the anxiety that creeps in on me in October, NaNo doesn’t stress me out. I’m actually always happier, more fulfilled while I’m participating in it. Each year I tell myself that my goal is not to meet the 50,000 word target, but rather to get in a good amount of writing each day. I enjoy the word sprints and the overall NaNo camaraderie. I love that I make writing a priority during that month. I just love it.

So, I probably will participate. (I’m looking into nerf doors to drown out the sound and the inevitable banging).

But, oh my God, I haven’t planned anything! More stress!!

Not really. I don’t tend to outline my novels. Yes, I have a direction and ideas, but I love letting those ideas discover what’s in store for us. So I’ll probably just continue working on the project I have at hand. Or maybe I’ll get a better idea between now and November. In fact, the idea for the next bestselling novel stopped by the other day! It was awesome. I’m sure it’ll be widely read and make millions! The only problem is, it slipped away before I had a chance to catch it!

Too often, I let life get in the way, and my writing gets pushed to the background. NaNo is my chance to make it a priority again. And the truth is, most of the time, I like what I write. I was just re-reading the character interviews for Behind Picket Fences, and I found them rather entertaining.

If you’re doing NaNo this year, connect with me on Facebook and we can have virtual coffee as we do word sprints.

(Thank you for reading and liking this post. If you enjoyed this piece, you may enjoy reading an excerpt from Behind Picket Fences. Click here to read the first chapter.)


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