NaNo No Mo’: Why I will never fully participate in NaNoWriMo again


I won NanoWriMo 2016. I won and I don’t feel the excitement I believe I should. A friend of mine and fellow author, Eliza David, wrote a blog about how she was quitting NaNo. She has an amazing insight as a non-first time NaNo and I wanted to read it so badly but, I didn’t. I didn’t read her blog entry until last night, after I won, because I knew I agreed with her. Trust me, check out her entry as well, it a hellava read.

After writing, typing and dictating over 50,000 words, I felt so drained. NaNo is a boot camp for writers. Write! No matter what, no matter the subject, just write! Get those 50k by any means necessary! I loathed myself immensely after about a week of writing. The beginning was a blast; I kicked Double Day’s ass, I had 3 stories pouring out of me like a perfectly shaken dirty martini. Yet, as the days went on, NaNo began to remind me of my days of J.R.O.T.C. I felt as through my old SGM was standing over me, yelling at me to CREATE!!!. There was even a point where I cried. I hated what was coming out of me, I hated the words, I hated what I had been reduced to.

Making matters worse, I published my second book, Two: Dirty Laundry, one day before NaNo began. I was on such a high, I thought I could do anything and I was a writer extraordinaire. Not remembering or minding the pesky little business of it taking me over a year to write Two. Oh No! I could participate and conquer NaNo. But it did, it took me 17 months to write my follow-up short story and somehow I thought I could write a full novel in a month.

I did finish it, I won dammit; but I didn’t conquer a damn thing. 70% of what I wrote, I deplore. I need to take a cleansing bath to wash off the chum I regurgitated for the sake of ‘words’. I started this month proud of my writing and ended it wondering how in God’s name I call myself a writer or author. Needles to say, the past 28 days have been a psycho clown filled roller coaster.

Have I frightened you yet? Well, that’s not my intention. In fact, if you’ve never done NaNo and are interested, I hope you try it. Just be prepared. Be prepared to not finish. Be prepared to finish and feel loss mixed in with whatever high feeling you may feel. Be prepared to win and feel the biggest accomplishment ever; be prepared for it all. I wasn’t prepared and now the feeling of inadequacy is stained on my well-worn typing fingers.

I will get out of this funk. Truly, I am proud of myself for seeing this though and to figure out a way to save the 30% of this project I did enjoy, I will continue to work on it. The project is something I’ve wanted to develop for sometime so, I will see this through, just not in a 30 day sprint.

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