Ah, November. A great month, for many reasons. The 21st day in particular is a favorite of mine. ;)
For many writers, November is synonymous with HOLY CRAP I HAVE TO WRITE A TON — aka National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, or NaNo. The challenge: to write 50,000 words in 30 days, never mind that major holiday where all your family comes and stays with you and you have to cook a big meal for them and socialize and stuff.
(Unless you’re not in America, in which case, never mind that holiday for real.)
Me, I don’t do NaNoWriMo. Not because I’m “better” than it — quite the opposite, in fact. I suck at it. Every time I sit down to NaNo, all I can think about is those 1,667 words I’m supposed to write each day. Then when I don’t write that many, all I can think about is how much I suck and how hard it’s going to be to catch up. Then when I don’t catch up, all I can think about is how I’m the worst writer ever and I’ll never finish a book or get an agent or do anything worthwhile with my life and hey where is that bag of dark chocolate?!
Yeah, not a good place to be.
So I prefer to sit NaNo out. Instead I watch from the sidelines and cheer for my friends who are participating. It’s still a blast.
Not NaNo-ing doesn’t make me — or anyone — less of a writer. For the record, not “winning” NaNo also does NOT make me — or anyone — less of a writer. (I kind of wish they wouldn’t use that term.) I just find that I’m happier and more productive when I’m not focused on word counts.
If that’s the case for you too, rock on! If you’re a NaNo diehard and do it every year, rock on! If you’re just trying it out for the first time, rock on! (And good luck!)
The most important thing is: Are you pursuing your passion to the best of your ability? Because that’s what NaNo is really about.