I shouldn’t be writing this post.
What I should be doing is reading my history texts, perusing my essay sources, formulating theses, writing those weekly summaries, reading that book for the review, and so on.
By this time next week, I’ll be saying much the same. Except, I’ll begin with:
“I shouldn’t be writing this novel.”
The reason, dear friends, is that next week I’ll be immersed in National Novel Writing Month (and hopefully you will, too).
People often question why I put myself through the intensity and deadlines that make NaNoWriMo seem so daunting. I could argue about the creative merits of such seat-of-your-pants writing. I could mention the encouragement from fellow writers, across the world. I bring up the atmosphere and energy that NaNoWriMo fills you with. It’s a response to a challenge. It’s a test to my fortitude as a writer. I could argue it is for bragging rights.
In reality, I could – and I have – argue any number of things to make people understand why I do NaNo , or perhaps even to justify why I do it. But I don’t expect you to truly understand unless you’ve taken part in the craziness that November brings writers every year. And, really, I don’t need to. NaNoWriMo is MY time. Believe it or not, it’s a relaxation. It forces me to forget about life for an hour or two every day and just write.
It is also proof that a person really can survive on coffee and chocolate and that, no, I don’t need eight hours of sleep to function normally.
I used to try to explain NaNo and offer up very thoughtful, in-depth, even philosophical answers to the question this post poses.
Nowadays, though, when asked why I do NaNoWriMo, I answer with the single, most-important factor in consideration. I answer without trying to sound like a snobbish writer. I answer without trying to explain my lifelong romance with writing and to explain the intricacies of how NaNo is a creative release, an amazing environment, etc.
I don’t do NaNo because other writers do it.
I don’t do NaNo to brag about it after.
I don’t do NaNo to connect with like-minded individuals around the world.
No, these things, and so many others, are byproducts of doing NaNoWriMo.
The real and most important reason – and probably the only valid one – why I do NaNoWriMo is because it is incredibly fun.
Thanks for reading!