When I was a student, November seemed like a great month to commit to writing. It was generally a quiet month. The school year was well underway and my routines set. The Thanksgiving break meant extra hours at my computer while someone else baked and basted.
How nice that was.
The change has been gradual. I learned to cook and the Thanksgiving feast began to eat into my writing time–pun very much intended. Then there were children, with their special set of demands, which eventually included hand-print turkeys and preschool parties. Eventually, November became a month of craft projects and classroom volunteering and absolutely no time to write. This year it’s especially bad because the crafting is not just for my children but for a craft fair where I’ll be selling on December first.
The “no” in NaNoWriMo is no longer an abbreviation for “novel”. It’s just plain “no.”
Which is not to say that I don’t like the idea of National Novel Writing Month or that I don’t enjoy the many demands that November brings. I just need to reschedule, that’s all.
For some, I can see how rescheduling would be difficult. NaNoWriMo has become this huge thing, with write-ins and author events and t-shirts and donations. If you need the pageantry (and the website’s word count tracker) to keep you going, you’ll probably want to stick to November. Personally, I’ll only miss the word count tracker and graph, but I happen to know that a little graphing paper and a colored pencil can produce similar results. I’ve never attended an event or read a whole article on their website. I’ve never actually followed the rules. I use the month not to create a new project but to push to the end (or possibly middle) of an old one, to push for word count instead of languishing in edits.
So I’ll do it in January. I can be quippy and call it JaNoWriMo, which would be even better if my name were Jan. The holidays will be over and I’ll have energy and adrenaline from making New Year’s Resolutions. The weather won’t lure me away from my writing and the kids will be in school at least half the day most days. No craft fairs to prep for (unless I find a Valentine’s Day event and get lured in… but if I do I’ll know about it in December and can go craft crazy then) and no holiday decorating. With any luck, the writing will help me avoid some of the Seasonal Affective Disorder that can sometimes kick in when we pack up the holidays and the warm and fuzzy seems to go with them.
What do you think? Are you with me?