I might not finish NaNoWriMo… and that’s okay

It’s November. To some people that means the start of Christmas season, Thanksgiving, football, Starbucks holiday drinks, peppermint, and an overall enjoyable month. To others, it means all that and a mental marathon for the ages: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month.

I tackled this task last year and won – barely crossing the finish line – and I have pretty much been on a high for the last eleven months because of it. It has always been my intention to make writing a 50,000+ words in 30 days a personal annual event, but just my second time out of the gate, I don’t think I’m going to get very far.

I probably won’t complete NaNoWriMo, and that’s okay.

If I don’t, it just shows how busy I’ve been in other aspects of my life. I’m job searching, writing and reporting for Hypable, studying for exams, spending time with friends before I graduate, spending time with family during Thanksgiving break before I move out… all these things that yes, this year, are more important than writing a book.

NaNoWriMo means something. It stands for something – and it’s not “I’m going to become a published author.” It’s “I pushed myself, and I accomplished something.” You don’t run a marathon with the hopes of winning. You run to prove to yourself you can do it (sometimes. On that note – I’m thinking about trying to start running some 10k’s and half-marathons. Am I crazy?)

So yes, I have a story, and I have a few thousand words already under my belt, but this month will be used to get the ball rolling, even if it takes me a few months to hit that all-important 50k. I’m still writing extensively. But writing these 400 words for this post were more important that writing 400 words for my story.

I’m writing a feature piece about November ratings sweeps for Hypable that is going to be very detailed and researched. That will be 1,000 words I could have written of a fictional novel that is unlikely to see the light of day.

I’m glad I’m involved in NaNoWriMo – the pep talks and encouragement and community are amazing – but it’s fine if I don’t finish the challenge come November 30.

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