November means a lot of things. It means we’re a month into my favorite season, that my birthday is just around the corner, and that my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is coming up on us soon. But it also means something far, far more ambitious: NaNoWriMo.
But, in all, honesty, this is a terrible year for me to be doing NaNoWriMo. It’s my senior year in college, I’m taking 18 credit hours, I’m in 2 student organizations, and I have a part-time job, not to mention I got married earlier this year and I now have a house to keep up with. Every previous year I’ve shied away from doing it because I’ve been too busy. But this is without a doubt the busiest I’ve ever been, and I’m taking the plunge. As a matter of fact, my draft is already started. Why would I do this to myself? Because only doing NaNoWriMo when you have a bunch of time really ruins the purpose of the event to begin with.
NaNoWriMo is about writing. That’s obvious. But it’s about more than just writing. It’s about writing under pressure, which takes an all-elusive virtue: discipline. If you don’t have anything else to do, then writing 50,000 words in a month may seem pretty feasible. But when you have a job, classes, and other commitments to tend to, then it’s an enormous challenge. And that’s exactly why I’m doing it.
I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old. I published my first book in March of this year. I can say without a shred of doubt in my mind that the most difficult part of writing for me has absolutely nothing to do with writer’s block, editing, or word choice. It’s discipline. I can daydream about a story all-day, but it’s difficult to sit down and take the necessary time to write a complete draft of a novel. I love writing and it’s still difficult! Like many writers, I’m a bit ADHD. And, ironically, that’s why I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. To set a firm and difficult deadline. To force me to be disciplined and dedicated. To break me in the hard way.
So if you were considering doing NaNoWriMo, but think you’re too busy, that’s exactly the reason you should do it.