Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo

You may have noticed that while I participated in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), I’m not partaking in the more popular National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). There’s a simple explanation for that:

I’m too busy.

I’m working on the Children of the Wells serial (which if you haven’t checked out yet, you should!); I’m writing a devotional for nerds/geeks with a friend; I try to write an article or two for Examiner every week; I just started with GiGaGeek Magazine as a freelancer; I attempt to make a vlog on occasion; and I’m working a part-time day job that keeps eating up more of my time than I want it to.

But most importantly, I’m already working on a novel: the tentatively titled Hope’s War, which is a sequel to Pandora’s Box. I think NaNoWriMo is something meant to jumpstart writers (or would-be writers) into writing a book they keep saying they’ll write but haven’t. Or it’s a prompt to actually sit down and write a novel when you haven’t done such a thing before. But I’m already in the throes of writing my next book. Mind you, I haven’t gotten nearly as much of it done as I wanted to by now. I was going to use NaNoWriMo as an opportunity to get more of it done, though probably not completed. Trust me, True Believers, I’m as disappointed with myself as you are—if not more so.

It seems I have a tendency to overload myself with projects. I hang out with a lot of creative people. I have ideas swirling through my head constantly that want out, that demand to be given shape and form, to have life breathed into them. (Okay, I’m going to stop before I get a god complex).

For me, it'd be, "Deadlines. Why'd it have to be deadlines?!"
For me, it’d be, “Deadlines. Why’d it have to be deadlines?!”

To use a more down-to-earth analogy for my original point, as a writer, I feel like Indiana Jones (who, by the way, is my favorite action hero). He had a habit of unintentionally getting in over his head. He usually didn’t go on an expedition looking for trouble; it found him. He just wanted to find the Ark of the Covenant for its archeological and historical value, not pick fights with Nazis. Or land in a snake pit.

For me, I just want to be creative, which usually involves writing. I didn’t mean to take on so many projects that I couldn’t keep up. I’ve been learning that time management is vital to writers. That it’s important to say, “No,” to some things, though they may be good. That’s hard, especially for the seemingly rare extroverted writer like myself.

But I promise I’ll get stuff done. I’m just not sure when at the moment.

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  • Hi Nathan –
    Great post. You sound busy enough without doing NaNo. If I had to guess you’re exceeding 50K words a month already in rewrites, edits, and articles. Keep writing. Your novels will rock. You’ve had one of the greatest teachers — Doc. His students follow success.

    PS. (I love the title Children of the Wells.)

    • Nathan

      Michelle, I wouldn’t say I produce that many words a month. That’s hard with my other responsibilities. I wish I worked less at my day job so I could write more.

      If you like the title, please follow the serial! It’s amazing, if I do say so myself.

  • Kate Dircksen

    Is it possible to inform me just what the most significant snake is, my brother thinks it truly is a boa constrictor.

    • Nathan