On My Mind · The Creative Process

Life & NaNoWriMo don’t play well together

Okay. It is very easy to say that in order to really call yourself a writer you need to write everyday. I have heard it a few times.

Clearly those people are either nuts or have no life.

Embarking on NaNoWriMo is a commitment to get into the habit of writing everyday (at least 1667 words per day to be exact). After 30 days of doing something everyday you are supposed to have developed the habit.

The most important word in that sentence is supposed.

First, you have to get through those 30 days.

I’m going to be honest. I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo twice out of four attempts. Not once have I written everyday for 30 days. Not once.

Why?

Life!

I am a mom. I now work two jobs. I run my own business. I volunteer. I like to take a nap or two. I do things for and with my family.

You know… stuff that interrupts writing.

Do I think I will be successful this time, with all that going on?

Hell yeah!

I just may have a few days where 5000 words are coming out at one time.

The other issue, after NaNoWriMo is over, is that you may be burnt out from all that writing. You decide to take December off. Well then you are out of the habit of writing everyday. You are starting from scratch.

I encourage you, and myself (especially myself), to just keep pushing at writing everyday. When NaNoWriMo is over we have to make an effort to keep putting things on paper. Write something. Write a 6 word story or a haiku. Create some art. Journal. Blog. Just keep your writing and creativity flowing on a consistent basis.

We all have things going on in our lives. It takes a lot of effort and planning to carve time out to write for many of us. Some people get up earlier. Some write before bed. You could write while eating your lunch. You could write while on the train or the bus. Get a digital recorder and speak your words. Type them up later. There are ways to get it done. We just have to understand that life isn’t always going to make it easy.

Feel free to add anything to this pep talk in the comments section. I am sure we can all use it.

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2 thoughts on “Life & NaNoWriMo don’t play well together

  1. I would add, let life happen, because sometimes, that’s where our greatest writing comes from. When we write, we are recreating life, whether fiction, memoir, or nonfiction; we’re writing about someone living, and how can we relate to them if we don’t even connect with our own life? Not writing everyday isn’t the end of the world, or even the end of our writing career. Not getting back to it, ever, is the problem.

    So when life happens, enjoy it, and absorb all you can in that moment. When the time comes when you can write again, your writing will be richer for the time you spent, living.

    Liked by 1 person

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