Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On deciding to withdraw from NaNoWriMo

I made the decision today to officially withdraw from NaNoWriMo this year.

It wasn't necessarily an easy decision. NaNo has given me a lot of joy over the years, especially in the three years I've completed it (2010, 2011 and 2015). The community I have been part of has been wonderful. And I did - I thought - have an idea that would go the distance in verse form, as Theory of Mind did in 2015.

However, what actually happened was four days of enthusiasm, two days of fumbling about as my plot got lost after the first scene transition, and then a very very intense (but great) 2-day business trip, from which I am about to return home.

There has been neither time nor headspace to look at the novel while I have been away, and this has been a good thing. It's given me a chance to reflect on whether I think the story has enough oomph in it (no, I don't), on my work and family commitment level in November (extensive, to say the least), and my need to protect my health (last week's crash day was a good wake-up call there).

In the end, I concluded that rescuing this story was going to take much more time, sweat and angst than I am able to give it this month, and that pushing on would be simply another chore to add to my daily list, at a time when literally the last thing I need is new chores.

I feel good about recognising this early on, before the overload stress kicked too hard, and the 8000 words I have done will keep for a less frenetic time to see if they are worth salvaging, perhaps as a shorter piece or series of pieces.

Instead, my big creative goal for November and December is going to be to get my poetry collection through second edit and into first layout. I feel like that is really a better goal for me at this stage. I'm already committed to the poetry book, and I have the content there; I feel like it is both a more achievable, and more satisfying, way to direct my creative time.

Of course, I do intend to push on with daily November blogging too!

(This is post #8 in NaBloPoMo. 8 down, 22 to go!)

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