I am admitting defeat in NaNoWriMo 2013. I started out behind in my word count, and fell even further behind over the first few days. Now, I’ve missed seven straight days completely. I lack both the will and the desire to catch up, and so I’m officially dropping out. I’ll complete the story that I was writing for it, but I’m going to work on it much more slowly, and edit as I go along. The result will be more polished and easier to read, and it will probably work a lot better. Karen, our lovely protagonist, deserves to be treated with care and respect. Now, I can give that to her…no matter where her story takes her.
In 2010, when I completed NaNoWriMo, I did so at a heavy cost. Writing consumed my life, and burned everything else away. I grew to hate writing, to hate thinking about it, to hate talking about it, to hate everything about it. Writing began to feel like an obligation. It became a chore to do as soon as possible every morning just so I could put it behind me and get on with my day.
I don’t ever want to feel that way again. I love writing, and I want to enjoy it. I don’t want it to be a chore, or a bore. But in order to keep my enthusiasm for it, I have to do it on my terms. Artificial word counts and difficult deadlines feel restrictive and punitive to me, and I want no part of them.
And so I am dropping them, and returning to writing on my own terms.
Of course, there is a price to be paid. My integrity is taking a hit, and my character along with it. I committed myself to doing NaNo, and now I am breaking that commitment. I suppose most people wouldn’t even blink in the face of that betrayal, but I take my honor very seriously…and I know that every broken promise is a stain on that honor. It wounds me—that much is certain. However, I would rather accept the stain of a broken promise than accept the pain of killing my passion. If my honor is tainted, then so be it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have a story to tell.