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

8 rules for lending books

RDC_Lending_Books

Lending our books out is emotional. We love our books. Part of us worry about our precious books. We wonder if we’ll ever see them again (the books, not our friends). The other part of us is busy trying to give the worrying part of us moral support for the tumult felt deep within our soul, which is also equally torn.

Setting rules for others to borrow our books is easy.  We can half-jokingly say “Lose it or hurt it, and I will hunt you down.

Setting rules for ourselves is harder. I love lending books. I love hearing how much that person enjoyed book that they would otherwise not have read. I love hearing differing opinions and perspectives when they don’t.

I also have rules for myself about lending my books. I set us both up to not sweat the small stuff. Continue reading

Writing Prompt Friday (Love Story)

WPF_02152019

Hello and welcome back to Writing Prompt Friday! It’s been a four-day work week, but it’s also been so busy it’s felt like a ten-day work week. These are the types of weeks that make the brain work fast and furious. So, of course, it wanders from time to time to take a break.

This week’s writing prompt is brought to you by one of those brain wanderings… Continue reading

How to Survive a Book Buying Ban

Empty Inside LolCat

It’s been 6 weeks since I went on a book buying ban. This is the longest I have ever stuck to one of these bans; I usually cave after one week at most.

During these past 6 weeks, I’ve been reading what I have, and I’m about to finish my eighth book. I’m focused on the book in my hands, and I’m even finding books in my stash that I’d forgotten I had. Kinda like getting new books without buying them.

It’s been nice. But not easy.

I’ve had to develop strategies and coping mechanisms.  Continue reading

A visit to Paradise: The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
— Ernest Hemingway

Let’s define “a good weekend.” It includes a Saturday during which you get to freely roam through fully stocked rare book dealer booths from rare book dealers from across the nation and some of Europe.

Why is that so awesome? Because you get carte blanche to hold, smell and admire more rare books than you’d get to anywhere else.

And I got to this past weekend at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair.

It was my first time at one of these book fairs. A fact clearly communicated to all and sundry by my wearing my Mickey Mouse jacket and everyone else wearing black leather or tweed jackets. And the fact that I hopped up and down in excitement and whispered “oooOOOOooo” when I first entered the doors.

Given my love for books, my fantasies of what it would be like were the bibliophile’s equivalent of a 14 year-old girl’s daydreams of Care Bears riding unicorns through fields of cotton candy.

Reality was better. I got to wander up and down a sea of aisles full of some of the most incredible books I may never see again. Even better, I got to touch them. And smell them — yet another indicator that this was awesome and new and that there was solid chance someone would have to drag me kicking and screaming to get me leave. Ever.

But I digress.

I’m talking rare books that range from $300 to $126,000. Continue reading