mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

Why I Am Not Doing NaNoWriMo

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling sick. I had a stomach bug that hits me every few years, and makes me feel miserable. Usually it lasts only for the day, but this one lasted all through Sunday night and into Monday morning. So I took a sick day in order to recuperate.

Anyway, tomorrow starts the annual tradition of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, during which many aspiring writers set themselves a deadline of one month to complete a 50,000 word novel. If you're one of those writers who has decided to start the journey in just under two hours, I wish you the best of luck and hope you succeed. By all means, keep us apprised of your progress throughout.

But I will not be of your ranks for a simple reason, and it has nothing to do with lack of time or motivation. It is simply this:

I am not naturally a fast writer.

Some writers are naturally quick, able to sit down and generate a few thousand words at a clip. But others spend more time on their writing, taking the same amount of time to complete a few hundred words of prose fiction. Neither speed of writing is better than the other; it's just a question of what sort of writer a person is.

Over the past decade of short fiction writing, I've come to acknowledge that I take more time getting my words onto the page than many others do. It would go against my natural abilities as a writer to force myself into a speed race that I know I would not be able to win.

So for those of us who fall into the "slow writer" category, let me suggest NaNoWriYea (pronounced with a shout of "Yeah!" at the end), or National Novel Writing Year. After all, even if you're not doing NaNoWriMo, you can still write a novel. As Gay Haldeman once told me, "A page a day is a book a year."

Slow and steady can also win the race.
Tags: personal, writing, writing-advice

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