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 (ficus edition)

WPF Princess Ducky

Hello and welcome back to Writing Prompt FridayAs much as I’d like to give a preamble and lead-in to this week’s writing prompt, I don’t want to bias your perspective because these prompts are about your imagination and your story. Let’s just say, I’ve been chanting this phrase regularly these past few days.

Enjoy!

I am one with the ficus.

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

 

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 (pen pals)

WritingPromptDuckyWriter

Hello and welcome back to Writing Prompt Friday! This week I presented a long-time-in-the-making passion project here at work: our brand voice and editorial guide. I’ve been working on it for months and I won’t lie…I was nervous presenting my ‘baby’ to our vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer. I’d put months into this document. By the time I showed them my ‘first’ draft, I’d put it through 13 revisions myself.

But they loved it. It’s out for review and while I await their feedback, I get to bask in the glow of hard job well done. And that’s my win for the week.

That and getting a perfect checkup at the dentist, who gives me a rubber ducky when I’ve been flossing like a good patient.

What’s your big win for the week?

And now, on to this week’s writing prompt. Continue reading

A letter to my writer’s muse

Elusive Rubber Ducky Muse is unamused.

Elusive Rubber Ducky Muse is unamused.

Dear Muse,

Got a moment? I know we’ve had our differences over the years but through it all, I’ve always appreciated you.

Your ideas. Your passion. Your inexplicable ability to make a silent exit when you’re bored. (Nice dinner party trick; how do you do that?)

Your independence is admirable. Your creative fire is undeniable. Without you, I’d be nothing more than a monkey at a keyboard, trying to spell my name right.

Yes, I know you aspire to — and deserve to reach — loftier heights than the project I now face. Your mysterious brilliance deserves a grander stage on which to outshine the stars.

Still, my task is one with which I could use your generous help if you so deign to give it.

No? 

Continue reading