For the past few years I have been a participant in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. 2016 marks the first year in quite a few that I have not participated, or even attempted it.
As someone who wants to be an author and does genuinely enjoy writing, I kind of struggled with this decision. But it came down to practicality.
I’ve always been a person who has a giant ongoing to-do list. A lot of those things aren’t necessarily time sensitive but will get done “eventually”. I find it very satisfying to be able to check things off a list when they’re completed, and if it’s something that has been on there a long time, it’s even more gratifying. But with that, comes the whole… too many irons in the fire thing. I am notorious for having a large number of “works in progress” and that’s okay, but it gets to the point where I am just spread way too thin. Prioritizing is something I’m not necessarily great at and I’m pretty guilty of following my own whims and doing what I feel like, which may not be what I should be spending my time on. Something I’ve learned this year is that I need to prioritize myself and my best interest instead of other people and what they might want me to be spending my time and energy on.
NaNoWriMo just happens to fall in November, probably the busiest month in the academic year. I have accepted that it’s just not realistic to pound out 50,000 words of a story while also working on essays and group projects and presentations and portfolios and response papers before the end of term (and then start preparing for December exams!). I have let go of the idea that I can do everything, because I can’t. Even when I get projects in mind I have to realize that it just isn’t feasible to do that on top of everything else. So, for the last couple months I have been picking one extracurricular priority and sticking with that on top of my schoolwork. For September it was blogging. October was (a super secret project I haven’t told anyone about yet). November has been YouTube. And December I’m going to do one focused priority a day and check off as many things as I can as we reach the end of 2016!
One of those December priorities is going to be writing. It just makes more sense for me to spend my time writing when I don’t have to do it for school. I’ll be having my own
NaNoWriMo… it will just be on a personal level at my own pace instead of the big, public event that it usually is.
My best wishes to everyone who is participating this year! How is it going? You’re on the home stretch now, so good luck!!