Updated: Aug 29, 2022
NaNoWriMo is over in a week, and I’m no closer to the goal than I was almost two weeks ago. I’ve stagnated and fallen into a hole that I’m not quite sure I know how to get out of. And you know what? I’m totally fine with that. I don’t have the drive to ‘win’ NaNo like I have in years past and I’m okay with that too.
When I first started NaNo almost a decade ago, days where marathoning as many words as possible (almost 15k at my height, and oh boy I never want to do that again) at this point in the month would be my main M.O, family responsibilities and relationships be damned. Instead of spending Thanksgiving with family, I’d spend it hunched in front of my laptop or phone as I typed as many words as possible. Things would get a little awkward, and not the fun type of awkward where Uncle Greg made a double innuendo that has everyone but the kids in stitches. I would be both panicked because I was not catching up to my word count and stressed by what I saw as judgement.
This year, I’ve interacted with people other than fellow Wrimos. I’ve played video games I’d looked forward to for months instead of pushing them back into December. I’ve even written words, words that I don’t think I’ll be deleting or editing come December and that is a new experience for November. But it’s one that I think I’ll be repeating. There is something to be said for being able to focus on the quality of the words I’m writing, instead of the quantity. I think I may have known that, years ago when I first started focusing on NaNo, but I’d forgotten somewhere along the way.
All in all, this National Novel Writing Month may not be a ‘win’ on my profile, and my stats bar may not raise any higher, but it is a win in ways that I didn’t know mattered to me.
About the author: Leigh Davis is the Co-Founder of The Writer's Workout. You can follow her on twitter: @LeighDBooks