After Tuesday’s post, some of you guys asked why I was waffling on Nano. The answer gets lengthy, so I thought it’d be easier to just post it here and then everyone can be enlightened at once.
I’ve done Nano every year since 2003, and have won eight of those. (My first year I got knocked out at 29K with a double-whammy of concussion and death flu. And last year I tried to do it around a newborn and managed a grand total of 14K.) While, in general, I approve of Nano and think everyone who wants to be a writer should do it at least once, I do think, after a while, the whole experience becomes a bit repetitive.
But there are things I like about Nano, even after all this time. I like the creative energy created by everyone writing at the same time. I like that most of my writer friends are at the same stage of a project for one point of the year. And I worry that I will be sad if I don’t at least try.
On the other hand, I’m pretty much guaranteed to fail. Here’s why:
1) Shards comes out on December 1st.
I have a book coming out December 1st. This means I should be using most of my time in November on marketing–setting up interviews, Q&As, reviews, etc. On the other hand, depending on how top of things I am, I may have a lot of this already done. But knowing me, probably not.
2) I have a small child.
Short of locking myself in the office and letting him have free reign of the house, it’s hard to get things done–especially things that require thought–while he’s conscious. And I have to literally lock myself in the office, and then I can’t get out.
3) No dedicated writing time.
My writing time right now is entirely dedicated to Shards marketing. And unless I somehow acquire another block of time, that’s unlikely to change.
On the other hand, does it really matter if one wins or not? (We’re on four hands now.) I think I’m a bit spoiled because I have won so many times, including that one year where I managed it around working full time AND going to graduate school. My sister says I should do it, even if I’m likely to fail, because it’s fun (and because I can use it for marketing. Sometimes my sister is surprisingly mercenary). And she’s probably right. I don’t need to win to prove I can; I’ve done that over and over. I’ve won on first drafts and rewrites and zokutou-ing.
And I probably will be sad if everyone’s doing it around me and I’m left out. Even if it is a bad idea. And it is. And I wonder about calling it a Nano if I’m not even really going to try. But will it hurt anything to sign up and write when I can?
What do you think, Squiders? Are you doing Nano this year?