Is NaNoWriMo “worth it”?
On the last weekend of NaNoWriMo 2021, I heard the term NaNo Widow. I have no idea if using terms like widow are problematic, and should ideally be avoided the way we would try to now with other words such as being “blind” to something. It does feel like a phrase worth avoiding.
But regardless of etymology, it was a good pause. I find it hard to concentrate; I need the correct balance of enough to distract me so I can force myself to focus, but not so much distraction that I can’t control it.
So I closed myself into my study. The space I had always wanted, my protective bubble of creativity. I’ve seen so much more negativity about NaNoWriMo this year than any other year. “Seasoned” writers dishing out spicy comments that the word count for NaNo is just what a normal day is for them.
But it is a lot. I think it’s ok to acknowledge that for a non professional writer (which I dare say is 99% of the participants) fifty thousand words in one month is huge. Unless you’re some kind of superhuman that I cannot relate to at all, you can’t do that much writing on top of every single other aspect of your life. Things have to go. I haven’t watched much tv, played any big games (just mindless things on my phone) or read pretty much anything this month.
So yes, something has to give. But even if you reach 50k words, you have to decide that it’s enough, that the give and the take is a balance that is worth it. And that’s a decision only you can make, knowing your own circumstances.
By the way, I write a lot about creativity (and creativity with a chronic illness) on my Patreon page. You can join for as little as $AUD 1.50/month and get early access to posts.