3 reasons why I'm doing my own version of NaNoWriMo this year

Today I did something wild and crazy.

OK not really. Way to set unrealistic expectations, Charmaine!

But I took a positive step for me.

Today is November 1, the first day of NaNoWriMo—national novel writing month. The idea is to write 50,000 words in November towards a novel.

I’m not doing that.

Instead, I’ve decided to write fiction for about 30 minutes on most days in November.

I’m excited about this idea for three reasons:

1. I’m focusing on doing the work, the process, instead of output.

I think this is a much better focus for me at this point. For sure, there are situations when a specific and ambitious goal like word count, or shipping every day, makes sense. But as I rambled on in another essay, I’m not entirely convinced of that value (for me) at this point.

I don’t regret doing Ship 30 for 30 at all—I’ve learnt a lot and there are many good reasons to do it, or to do NaNoWriMo. But after spending a few weeks focusing on the shipping I’m looking forward to spending my time focusing on the writing—without expectations or goals other than to write.

2. By not aiming for a daily habit, I’m letting go of perfectionism and my “all-or-nothing” tendency.

NaNoWriMo doesn’t “require” daily writing, but most folks aim for close to that, I’d imagine, if going to hit that 50,000 in 30 days.

Some version of moderation would benefit me in so many aspects of my life. (I say “some version” because I think people often see moderation as being in balance, 50 out of 100—but I think at times moderation is 90 and at times it’s 10 and it’s all good.)

So I’ll write “most” days—and most definitely does not include weekends.

3. Fiction is fun!

I’m excited to play with stories and new worlds and leave this one behind for a bit each day.

So day 1 of my own NaNoWriMo is behind me, and it’s been a wild success so far. 😉

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