Over the past nine years I have participated in NaNoWriMo seven times. Some of these years have been years of huge success (mostly the early days when my sister and I participated together) and there have been years of near failure (like last year when I wrote my final 24,000 words in the last day and a half.)
I have loved everything about NaNoWriMo for so long. The cozy, crazy feeling of it, the people, the community, and the act of writing something I wouldn’t otherwise make time to write. In the past two years however; I have come to realize that I am not a novelist.
I could probably use the excuse of planning a wedding and getting a new job for my lack of excitement toward last year, but if I’m truly being honest with myself I think it’s more so that I’m a little burnt out from trying to be something I’m not. I love to write – I really, truly do. I just don’t (currently) love writing novels.
That brings me to this year. At first when I started thinking about NaNo this year I thought I had two options:
- Participate and struggle to finish a novel I had no idea or conviction for
- Don’t participate and “drop out” or “fail”
Neither one felt like great options.
The more I went back and forth between the two I realized that while I might not love writing novels in this phase of my creative life, why couldn’t I flip NaNo on its head and do it my way for once?
At the end of this NaNoWriMo I want to walk away with a finished product I am proud of and that I can actually do something with.
At the end of this NaNoWriMo I want to walk away with a finished product I am proud of and that I can actually do something with. Since the writing I find the most joy in is in poetry and short stories, this year for NaNoWriMo I will be writing one poem each day for 30 days. Publishing a book of my poetry has been a lifelong dream and this year I’m going to make it happen!
Since I’m going completely rogue this year I figured I’d bring those of you along with me on the adventure! If you’d like to get weekly writing prompts, encouragement, and a select few of my poems sent to your inbox each week, click here to sign up for my email list!
This is totally not how NaNoWriMo is “supposed” to work. It’s called National Novel Writing Month for a reason. Could I write a month worth of poetry any other month in the year? Of course! But this is the time of the year when I want to do it. I want to participate in the culture and community that is NaNoWriMo.
Knowing myself, I am leaving room for evolution and improvement in the plan I set out with on November 1st. Who knows, I might end up writing some short stories, too! Whatever happens I am excited to dive in for the first time in a few years and that is a great feeling to have.