I am NOT against writing a book in a month. More power to those authors who can. It’s an achievement just to write a novel. To pen one in 30 days is pretty friggin’ awesome (although, why the-powers-that-be don’t designate NaNoWrimo for months with 31 days like January or October I’ll never know. I mean, 24 extra hours won’t hurt!).
I am the Anti-NaNoWrimo writer. I will never participate in NaNoWrimo not because I think I’m too good or I don’t think I can take on the challenge.
I hear the questions already. Why, Abby? Why not prove to yourself that you can write 75,000 in a month’s time? Why not write as fast your little fingers will let you?
Writing is enjoyable and thrilling. I like to take a leisurely pace, sniff the roses, look up at the sky in awe. You know, enjoy the wild adventure my creativity is taking me on. I savor every little moment as if it were a 15 coarse meal. Evey bite enlivens my taste buds. Whether it’s developing a relationship between two characters, building up the fantastical world around them, or scribbling out a gut-wrenching breakup scene, each chapter, paragraph, and word deserves its grand debut. Afterward, I let those grand ideas transform into something sparkly and satisfying. But that takes time. Lots of time. You see, I enjoy second dinner, much to my wardrobe’s protest, and just the same, I enjoy the second dinner of writing. I step back from the story, love it, hug it, and give it more love after letting it mature like a Chianti. But that can’t be done in 30 days, not for me.
I mean, I couldn’t imagine what I’d be like if I had to endure every emotion and challenge I put my characters through in a month. I’d probably turn into Gollum’s long-lost cousin, staring cross-eyed at the screen, squealing “Precious!” as drool dangles from my lopsided mouth. Kind of like this:
So, for all you writers out there who feel a bit… left out because you aren’t participating in NaNoWrimo, remember that writing a novel in a month isn’t for everyone. It’s not about rushing to the finish line, because finishing numero uno isn’t always the most fun. Taking the process of writing a novel at a casual pace can be far more exciting and fulfilling than sprinting to the end.
So, I say, enjoy the ride, fellow writers. Everything (edits, querying, blah, blah…) that comes afterward is not nearly as thrilling as penning a kickass story.