By Jordan Drew
There are a million reasons I could come up with not to do NaNoWriMo… well maybe not a whole million because that would take forever, but there are a lot of reasons. Stress is one of the biggies, perhaps even the biggest, since everything about NaNo causes stress in the first place. Between the time constraint of thirty days and the word count minimum of fifty thousand words, the amount of stress a NaNo-er undergoes during the month of November can be off the charts.
I think, however, the thing that worries me most is finishing early. I don’t mean ahead of schedule either, because that would actually rock a little. I mean finishing the story early, as in, I have a plot, I have a direction, write, write, write, oh my God I’m fifteen days in, I have twenty-five thousand words and a beginning , middle and end.
Yes. End. Enter the proverbial brick wall. To hit this wall while writing is never fun, but to hit it while under a time constraint and nowhere near the required word count is cause for panic and a cup of chamomile tea… and an extra piece of pie… maybe two.
Also, if your house is anything like mine, you’ve got family members who suddenly can’t find ANYTHING. This starts on October 31st , at about 3:00 in the afternoon (this is to make sure you’re completely pre-stressed out before you even begin your thirty days of writing). These family members will come to you with “Where is my mask?” and “Where did you put the 25 pounds of candy you bought three months ago to ensure you would be completely stress free on Halloween?”
This is only the beginning and will last throughout November with “Have you seen my socks?” “Do you know where my shoe is?” and “Did you do the laundry because my favorite shirt is missing and if I don’t have that shirt I will totally just die?!” Come December 1st, you’ll wake up to find all shoes, socks, and favorite shirts have magically reappeared. You’ll also find that candy you bought – probably on top of the dryer. You’d have found it if you’d actually remembered to throw the clothes from the washing machine into the dryer back on Halloween when you originally washed them. You’ll need a clothespin for your nose to get to it now.
I love doing NaNoWriMo. This is my second year, and despite the many reasons I can think of not to do it, I know I’ll talk myself into it for years to come. NaNo is when I force myself to face my fears, allow myself to take the time to concentrate solely on my writing and just get lost in it. It’s daunting, it’s frustrating, it’s stressful, it’s scary… and it’s worth all of it… except maybe that weird smell coming from the laundry room.
Jordan Drew is a storyteller/writer/coffee drinker extraordinaire who resides in Georgia with her husband NerdBoy, their two sons, as well as Charlie the Dog and a Yorkie named Jabberwock. You can read more of Jordan’s random rantings at her website, www.jordandrew.com