NaNoWriMo is exciting. In the days and weeks leading up to the craziness, the blogosphere is full of “Should I?,” ”I’m doing it,” and “NaNoWriMo Is Stupid/Bad Writing/Not How It’s Done” posts. Twitter is all, well, atwitter, with the same thing. Then, November 1 hits.
Now it’s posts about word counts and plot lines. Writers, not realizing how pretentious and crazy they sound, complaining their characters aren’t doing what they’re told and talking about the lessons they’re learning about themselves as writers. I wrote one of those myself. (See here.) Participants blather on to anyone who’ll listen. When they run out of real people, they take to the Twitter, where anyone who blindly and innocently clicked their “follow” button is subjected to annoying word count updates and complaints about not sleeping.
After the second week, these posts and tweets start disappearing. WriMo’s are dropping like flies. Some choose to simply fade into the background, hoping no one will notice they flaked. The smart ones write “NaNoWriMo Dropout” posts. These posts are filled with the deep philosophical reasons that NaNo wasn’t for them, which all boils down to one argument, basically.
“Quantity over quality doesn’t work for me. I care too much about my writing/characters to rush through it.”
It’s a valid argument and sure to find support from anyone who’s ever attempted to write a novel. Like I said, they’re smart. Me? Not so much.
If Dropping Out was an Olympic Sport, I’d have about 20 gold medals. You name it, I’ve dropped out of it. Piano lessons, cheerleading, college, the gym, watercolor painting, Atkins/South Beach/Weight Watchers Points Plan/Low Carb/Low Fat/Low Calorie or any other fad diet you can think of. My justification of choice is my five children. Nobody argues with that reason. But I know the truth.
I am lazy. Nicer people (you know who you are) call me “laid back.” Psht. Let’s drop the niceties. I am LA-ZY. In keeping with this truth, I should have dropped out of NaNoWriMo a long time ago.
There have been several days this month when dropping out seemed like the right thing to do. I was behind on my word count. My story was lagging. I was too tired. I wrote through it, and it shows. Some serious crap flows from fatigued fingers, let me tell you. But I want to finish this. I’m sick to death of dropping out of things that are important to me because I don’t want to put in the work. What is that teaching my dear children, my scapegoats?
“Mommy could have done something, if it hadn’t been for you.”
And there it is. The reason I’m not writing a NaNoWriMo Dropout post. Because this mama has something to prove. To herself. Her children. And anyone who says, “You can’t…”