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It’s nearly the end of October, and as you may be aware, my favorite holiday is rapidly approaching. Hallowe’en is less than a week away, and I’ve been making some arrangements for upcoming events. Looking at the way things will be falling into place over the next month has left me no choice but to say this. I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for the last two years. When I first started I was couchsurfing and working one job, nineteen hours a week. I had plenty of time to tackle the project, and I was giving Scrivener a go at the same time. It seemed perfect to me, and I managed to crank out over 30,000 words in the course of the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Then my car almost died on my way home for the holiday, and my ability to focus went out onto the highway along with all of my coolant.

Last year, I was back to two jobs (actually, the same two that I’m doing now… I feel somewhat accomplished for that in and of itself), and decided that I wanted to tackle a totally different genre for me second attempt. I changed my mind partway through, and told myself I was going to edit my NaNo project from the year before instead. I was still apartment hunting. I was convinced that NaNo would bring the structure that my life needed. It didn’t. I got essentially zero progress done on any fiction writing. I was disappointed, to say the least. So this year, I’m going on NaNo Hiatus.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be writing. It definitely doesn’t mean that. In fact, I’ll probably be writing more than usual. However, I’ve got multiple small projects that I’m going to be working on that are going to be taking priority over an attempt to cobble 1600+ words together each day. I have existing stories that need fleshed out. I need to place focus on them.

Damn straight, Jean-Luc.

My favorite part of this meme is the look on Jonathan Frakes’ face.

Not that facebook is the biggest distraction I have from writing, but you get the idea. Writing’s not the only thing I’ve got to focus on right now either. Whether I like it or not, I’ve still got two part-time jobs that keep me occupied. The bookstore job in particular is only going to get more intensive as the holiday season approaches. It’s the nature of retail, and as much as I dread the thought of another Christmas in that field, what I do is all about helping people find the right book.

So yeah, there’s the whole job thing kind of interfering with writing, but honestly, I’m not certain that NaNoWriMo is the right route for me to take through it, at least not right now. Maybe, if all goes well, I’ll have full-time employment by this time next year, and I’ll be able to drop all of my accumulated vacation days on November, and just take paid time off to write. That would be amazing.

Until then, I’m going to work on a couple of longer pieces that I plan to submit for publication, and whip together a few microfiction pieces for the various writing challenges that pop up throughout the month. To those of you who are tackling NaNoWriMo in a couple of days, I wish you the best of luck. It’s great for certain people at certain times in their lives, and can be spectacular simply to get the words out of your head. Those of you who won’t be doing NaNo are more than welcome to join me at the bar on Hallowe’en and toast to the crazy people who are hunkering down in the writing bunkers for the next thirty days. Cheers!

2 Comments

  1. As a writer one of the best things to recognize is when your lifestyle is not conducive to extended writing projects. I think this is a good choice, and I look forward to seeing your shorter works. Happy Halloween!

    • Thank you, Angela. It’s going well so far, and it’s nice to be able to work on other projects without the pressure to do NaNo as well.


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