NaNoWrimo begins in just 2 days. You’ve already read Rebekah’s and Michelle’s posts about the heavily-caffeinated, carpal tunnel-inducing foray of creative abandon that is now nearly upon us. So what do I have to add to the mix?
I’m not participating.
And I swear it’s killing me, but all for my own good.
This post is for the people who want to dedicate themselves, and perhaps have done so in the past, but for any number of reasons simply may not be able to this year.
Let’s all say it together now: “It’s okay to not participate for just one year.” I must admit that still makes me cringe a bit to type. And I have gone back and forth on my decision to participate about 35 times in the last few days. By the end of this post I may have already decided to participate again. But by the time I mention that to the rest of the Ferrets, they will threaten to give me a proper kick, as I promised they could do if I tried to give in.
I am excited for NaNoWriMo. I can’t wait to cheer my friends on. I have my sparkly pompoms out of storage and ready to wave them to the finish line. I’m already biting my nails, waiting for the first news of hilarious typos and bizarre character behavior. I even get to be creative consultant on one of the two projects Serena is taking on this year. (It’s an existing project of ours already.)
As much as I’m itching to write this year, I know I need to step back. I have pushed myself a lot since January, and for the first time in quite a while I finally started to feel some peace in the last month or two. I have so many projects I want to complete for the holidays, my house to get in order and further unpacked (we moved in a year and a half ago), and several photo albums I’d like to finish by the end of the year.
In addition to not needing the added stresses of failing miserably at the rest of my life while I write for 30 days, I’m also studying with Eris for the N5 (lowest) level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. This test is on December 1st, meaning there is no time AFTER NaNo to keep studying. It’s do or die, and I need to put my focus there.
However, the spirit of NaNo is not about to be squashed, whether I write with abandon or not. It’s a lofty goal and one I well know I will probably not reach, but in the spirit of NaNo I am going to attempt to read 5,000 pages this November. That’s 5,000 pages of anything (not counting picture books or manga).
I love to read. I have at least a few hundred books in my possession at home that I want to read, very much, but have not given myself time to do so. I’ve barely given myself time to read all year. So while I hold myself back from the excitement of writing this time around, I’m indulging myself in all the worlds that are getting dusty on my shelves.
In the end, NaNoWriMo is all about the written word and the enjoyment one can find in it. Whether you’re in the cheering section or playing on the field, as long as your heart is in the love of the game, you’ve already won, and everyone with you has won too.