Surviving the Season of Guilt: NaNoWriMo

Nanowrimo Guilt

It’s that time of year again. If you’re a novelist you know what I mean. November: Season of Guilt.  And I don’t mean from too much turkey and pumpkin pie. We are now in the midst of National Novel Writing Month.  For weeks prior, writers have been blogging about it, forming NaNoWriMo email coaching groups, developing complex battle plans, and generally stressing out about reaching those 50,000 words by November 30th.

Then there’s the rest of us. The slackers who don’t do NaNo. The infidels who refuse to convert our writing routine in order to win.

I confess, I say No to NaNo. That’s not to say I can’t understand why others say yes year after year. NaNo provides structure and goals for those who need motivation to write and a team of cheerleaders to offer support along the way. Kudos to those who take the challenge and stick with it. Motivation has never been my problem, though. As an ambitious planaholic who edits after completing each chapter, NaNo is chamomile when I need Earl Grey.

But going against the tide of avid NaNo fans can leave you feeling left out of the festivities, or even guilty for not taking part. Don’t. While we’re a much more quiet group, rebels like myself do exist and are here to support you this literary season.

So when asked if you’ve met your word count at the end of November, don’t cringe in shame. Hold up your head and say, “Yes, every month. How about you?”

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