why I don't participate in NaNoWriMo

For a long time, I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was. To be 100% honest, since I've never actually done it, I feel like I still only have a vague idea of what it is. I know the goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. I'm unclear if there are specific rules or if you can do what you want; if you have to write an entire novel (which could actually be more than 50K words) or if you can write 10K words of one piece and the first 40K of another. I just don't know. And yeah - I could look it up and find the answer in less than five minutes, but I don't see the point, so I'm not gonna.

After I published and I started writing at a more vigorous rate, somehow November would come around, and I'd always be in editing mode. Every time. Even when there was a time when I might have entertained the idea of participating, I had other obligations. Though, for a couple years, it wasn't that big of a deal that I couldn't participate. I didn't need to be pushed or challenged to set a goal and reach it. I was a workaholic. I pushed myself. I challenged myself. And 50K words in a month was nothing. In fact, if I only wrote 50K words, I was behind.

Then life happened. I got burned out. And now - the reason why I'm not participating has been flipped on its head.

The thought of being part of a community all striving to write 50,000 words in four weeks makes me feel like someone is walking toward me with a straight jacket. It makes me anxious and uncomfortable. I might write 50K in November just because I'm actually (for the first time in years) working on a project at the moment. But to set that goal, knowing how I get when I set a goal, it feels like a really unhealthy decision.

However, I applaud those who are going to participate this year! I wish everyone much success - and I hope it yields awesome stories and that unique feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a thing. I'll be writing right along side of you - I just won't be counting my words.