Why NaNoWriMo 2019 is not for me

lolcat-spartans

As many of you know, November is coming up and with it, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Now, I love that for an entire month, writers gear up for a marathon of dedicated writing at the cost of personal time, family time, work time (I assume) and in some cases, personal hygiene—or so I’ve read. For writers who need an organized kick in the tail and the public support of fellow writers who’ve made the same commitment, I wholeheartedly shout, “Sally forth sweet souls!”

I’m not one of those writers. Not because I’m prolific year-round (I’m not) or because I shun organized, public activity (I do).

NaNoWriMo is not for me because the tradeoffs are not worth for me.

My busiest time of year

Family birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, and during it all, visiting family. Three months of celebrations and peopling kicks off in October and runs into January. I don’t have a month to spare to log several thousand words a day to make NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 word count or support fellow writers as they try to make word counts, too. I also don’t have time in October to prepare—and NaNoWriMo takes preparation.

Quality of life

Empty Inside LolCatI have a full-time job, a commute, a home to keep clean for my own sanity and a cat that does not fall under the “low maintenance” category of felines. I also love spending time with my husband.

My hands are filled with daily life, earning a living and making room for more books (also important). Throwing in the pressure to write 50,000 words in a month will take a memorable toll on these other, more important aspects of my life.

Besides, my cat has never respected “Mommy needs to write, so please get off my keyboard.”

Low quality work, low self esteem

grammer-lolcatIf I’m going to bust my tail writing a novel in a month, I want something worth editing at the end. I’m still cobbling together short stories; I’m not in the right stage of growth as a creative writer to draft a novel-length I think is worth the 50,000-word marathon.

Meanwhile, I’d get to participate in NaNoWriMo alongside others who are already published, have already completed novels or are dedicated, budding writers who live, eat and breathe writing in a way reserved for those in that magical stage of life. I already have a well-developed case of Imposter Syndrome; participating in NaNoWriMo would not help.

I’m working on other projects. I’m writing my short stories. But I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who are participating, however, I hope you kick some creative tail and come out the other side as a super-powered writer with your sanity intact and a first draft we’ll all soon be reading.

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo from NY Book Editors has some good advice, which is good for writing in general.

NaNoWriMo: The Good, The Bad, and The Really, Really Ugly by Chris Brecheen offers thoughtful, balanced perspective on why or why not participate. Highly suggest every writer read this one.

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: Top 5 Tips by Leila Dewji offers straightforward advice on getting ready before you get started.

What about you? Do you plan on participating in NaNoWriMo? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sincerely, Ducky

Writing Prompt Friday (dragon)

WPF Princess Ducky

Hello and welcome back to Writing Prompt Friday! I’m a lifelong learner. A continually curious person. And I’ve learned a few things this week.

  • Never apply liquid eyeliner when the cat’s around.
  • Kind donut shop employees will give me free donuts if I start crying for no reason other than I’m too overwhelmed and exhausted at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning to choose creamer for my coffee.
  • Facebook memes really can spark quality ideas.

And now, on to this week’s writing prompt. Enjoy!

Write a story about a dragon trying to blow out its birthday candles.

Want to share your writing prompt result? Share in the comments.
Yours, Ducky

The truth about feedback

Disney Feedback.png

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when one hears the word “feedback,” one thinks “criticism.” The face twists in a cringe, and one wants nothing more than to run fast, run far and insert one’s head into a hole in the ground.

Feedback is uncomfortable.

Getting feedback on our work is one thing. That kind of feedback comes with the territory; we expect it and usually take it objectively because it’s about our work, not us. But getting feedback on our professional or personal performance? Yikes.

So let’s shed some light on what feedback really is: a gift. Continue reading

Taking care of your inner hamster

Drawing a Blank

Your writer’s muse is undependable. You’ve got deadlines? The muse is outta there; you’re on your own. Mine lets the door slam behind her on the way out as she calls “Bye, Felicia!” over her well-groomed shoulder as she takes off to enjoy herself while I work.

I’m a copywriter. Deadlines are my daily norm, and I need a source of creativity on which I can rely. I call that source of creativity my little hamster Hortense. When the muse abandons me, Hortense is the one who helps uncover the creative gems that get the job done. She’s not in it for the glamour; she’s there because we have a job to do and we’re in it together.

You, too, have an inner source of creativity.

Take care of it, it’ll take care of you. Continue reading

Writing Prompt Friday (snowy)

WritingPromptDuckyWriter

Hello and welcome back to Writing Prompt Friday! This week has been reflective. Where am I going in life? How have I been as a human being so far? Am I living a good, kind life right now? Is this eyeshadow too sparkly?

Knowing me, my answers will change from moment to moment, but these are questions always worth trying anyway.

What I have determined to be factually true is that my eyeshadow is, indeed, not too sparkly. And that brings me joy.

On to this week’s writing prompt, which features a lovely image I captured back on a snowy day. Enjoy. Continue reading