I Am Not NaNoWrMo-ing

This post is opposite the one I thought I’d be writing this week.
I am not, after all, participating in National Novel Writing Month as I’d planned.
I signed up to do.  Got caught up in all the excitement.  But I decided I just wasn’t ready this year.

Here are my excuses:
My book idea is too nebulous at this point.  
I spent the last two weeks in October away from home and that hurt my prep      time.
I had a small medical procedure the first of the month that took me out for two days and I hated to start out already behind.
I don’t handle failure well, and this endeavor would probably turn into failure.    I’m a nonfiction writer at heart.

I am participating in Write Nonfiction in November in hopes that I’ll increase my output.  I’m working on a lengthy essay for a contest that’s due in early December, plus writing a handful of devotionals for a magazine.

But I’m not giving up on the novel forever.  I think that all writers hope we have a book in us.  So over the next year I’ll prepare for November 2012.  I’ll read the how-to books suggested by Meg Waite Clayton  for new novelists:  How Fiction Works by Oakley Hall and The Weekend Novelist by Robert Ray.   I’m also reading The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt.  It’s very inspirational and I’ve already started some of the suggested  exercises for entering the world of my characters..   I’ll continue with the Scrivener tutorial (thanks, Cat Von) in hopes that I can figure it out.

And I’ll stay excited for all my fellow writer friends at SheWrites and around the web who are participating.  I will follow your progress and cheer you on.  Do keep blogging about your NaNoWrMo  experiences — good or bad.

I’m rethinking my above statement about failure.  If you participate in NANoWrMo it’s a win whether you  meet the 50,000 word goal or not.  A win because you’re gaining experience.  A win because you attempted something scary.  And a win because it puts you further along the path of your dream — to be a published author.

Forget all the above excuses I listed.  The real reason that I’m not participating is that I’m scared to write my story.  And I’m filled with self-doubt that I can even do it.  Maybe I’ll be ready next year.


13 responses to “I Am Not NaNoWrMo-ing

  1. Loved your honesty at the end. Many of us have had to fight through the fear of writing our stories. I’m writing a story, but it’s not my comfort zone. Like you (I think) I’ve written mostly non-fiction inspirational pieces.

    We’re all winners – NaNo participants or not – as long as we keep writing and following our hearts!

  2. Or maybe NaNoWrMo isn’t the route you should take to write your novel.

    Your instinct has stopped you and hindsight will show you – stop the NaNo but keep the faith, keep doing what comes from within and don’t worry too much about things from outside.

    Hop over and read Janece’s post H.A.L.T http://booksbywomen.org/have-an-inner-critic-halt-the-assault-by-janece-herrington/

    Keep going, I love reading your posts. I’m not doing NaNo either, I’m doing what I can and reminding myself that that’s ok. And blogging helps.

    Bonne courage.

  3. Thanks to you both for your wise and encouraging comments. Janece’s post was just what I needed to hear (or read).

  4. You still have time if you change your mind…LOL, I’m joking! The great thing about Nano is that its every year. You still have another chance. Great to catch up with you 🙂

  5. Naty, I know! I thought about starting late because I’m afraid I’m going to regret not trying.

  6. Whew! I was beginning to feel like I was the only one on the SW site not doing NaNoWriting. I had a collection of things from recent surgery to the fact that I only do (or want to do) non-fiction that made me hesitate. Thanks for the link to the Nonfiction challenge. It might be too late to sign up, but I think it’s more my speed. It can give me that push to complete and prepare for submission one piece that’s been rattling around in my computer.

  7. I know the story is going to come out eventually. I’ll just patiently wait while you figure out how you’re going to do it! 🙂

  8. Love the synchronicity, I was writing to tell you to visit Janece’s article and she was commenting at the same time, positive forces at work for you Candyce and now a newly published piece of work, something tells me you are doing the right thing. ❤

  9. Wow! I had no idea those two incidents were purely by chance. Take one small step in the right direction and the universe responds!

  10. Pingback: Simply Saturday | candidness

  11. I have nothing but awe for writers participating in the Nano event. Seriously, there is no way I could crank out that amount of words, under pressure to meet a deadline, and hope to make it anything more than dribble. If your instincts are telling you this is not the year, then I say follow your gut. And don’t feel any kind of regret. Things happen or don’t happen for a reason. Not to mention that most of the time, it’s better to finish old projects before moving on to new ones. Wouldn’t you agree?

  12. Thanks, Bella. Now that we’re well into Nutty November, I’m confident I made the right decision this year.

  13. I think you have to write your story in your own time and when you are ready. NaNo is really a tool for those who want that concentrated push, but not all writers work like that. I know I don’t!

    So good for you for being honest and true to yourself. It’s not fear, it’s knowing in your heart the way you work best. Stick to that, and your story will unfold when it’s ready.

    Hold the faith! The journey is wherever it will take you.


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