And one of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo is the fact that I can use it as an excuse. When you're a writer, no one really believes you work. While it's true there are times when our "writing" consists of falling down a YouTube rabbit hole of research, we still need that "butt in chair" time.
November has been touted as one of the worst times of the year to try a writing challenge. If my research holds true, it's the very reason the originators chose it. If you can write a book in November, when all the holiday prep and family obligations are demanding your time, then writing during the rest of the year is a cake walk. Hence the reason this is a challenge.
What I think everyone is missing, is the possibilities this task holds. Because most people don't get how much work goes into a novel, NaNoWriMo puts a quantifiable task at the forefront that's easier for the general public to understand.
What I'm saying is, when you tell your family, "I need to finish my book", they don't understand what that means. But when you tell that same group, "I need to write 50,000 words in only 30 days" they take it more seriously. And if you have daily goals to tout they tend to leave you alone.
Do you get what I'm putting out there? Do you see where I'm going with this?
The holidays are stressful. If you have a large family, or big group of friends, or even an evil day job that puts you in forced socialization situations, you have a lot of events coming up this month. NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse to cut out early, or not attend at all.
If you're in the United States, the past few years in politics have been especially divisive. And many families who silently disagreed with each other, are now openly arguing. Are you stuck going to such a function? TAKE YOUR LAPTOP. Claim you're behind in NaNoWriMo and put yourself in a spare room with a big glass of wine and make your word count work to your advantage. I'm telling you, there is no one who will keep track of exactly how much you write. So if you need to stay in a locked room for two hours because your Uncle is ranting about something he "knows" because he saw it on Facebook...take the leave and work on your beautiful stats page.
If anyone has peeked at mine lately, you'll know that I've fallen off the wagon. Along with this blog. I don't have any excuses. I had to make a choice to either push my already stretched nerves, or work on the basics. I'm talking I had to get down to basic self-care of showering and eating.
Life gets away from us, and we have to make the best choice for who we are that very day. Today, I did some much needed housework and worked on a WIP despite not knowing if I'm going to keep it. I let myself write, because even if I fail, I'll be failing forward and getting some excellent writing practice in.
Am I going to take my laptop to my in-laws' turkey day battleground? You bet your sweet butterballed ass, I am. Needing a break doesn't always get you out of obligations. But keep NaNoWriMo in your back pocket, like I do. You might find a way to add to your word-count while avoiding an awkward conversation or libation-fueled fight.
What about you? Do you have something you want to hide out from this November? Ever thought of using your word count as an excuse? Are you going to try it now? I'd love to hear about it.