To NaNo, or not to NaNo?

Since the beginning of the month—well, more precisely since I wrote this post—I’ve been plague by the question titling this post.  Should I or should I not fling myself out of the proverbial perfectly good airplane without a parachute on Friday with all my other lemming friends?  That is, should I take off my helmet and go charging forth towards another new novel along with the slavering horde of writers getting in on the NaNoWriMo action for 2013.

On it’s face, it seems kind of silly question to wrangle with, like I’m trying to tie myself up in cotton candy or something. I mean, first, it’s not like I had bad things to say about the experience last time, you know? Also, consider that:

  1. I have a new novel to work on, and
  2. Said new novel requires roughly 50k words.

With those things in mind, why in the name of Samuel L. Clemens would I not attempt NaNo 2013?  It’s sort of like asking a hungry dude if he’d like something to eat.

The thing, though, is that I’m not sure what’s going to happen in November.  I have obligations to other people, people working hard for me to get the books I’ve already written out into the world where real live humans, Oompa Loompas, and/or visiting aliens can pick them up at bookstores and libraries (should they so desire).  Those obligations could mean that on November 12th I’ll get a revision letter as long as Santa’s Naughty or Nice list along with a manuscript that’s been marked up with so much red it resembles a candy apple.  Well, a candy apple that’s been run over by a steamroller enough times to squash it into a conveniently flat 8.5×5 rectangle.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.  There’s a whole list of other stuff I might have to suddenly turn my attention to.  Who knows what unexpected shenanigans might pop its prairie-dog head up out of the ground in the next 30 days and derail NaNo for me!

The fact is, I guess I’m kind of a real writer now. I write all the time, whether it’s Nation Novel Writing Month or not. Heck, I’ve already written two complete novels this year. Do I really need to push myself to get another done before December 1?  Why not take it a little easy?  Why not spend 6—or 8, 10, 12, gasp!—weeks working on that next 50,000 words instead of trying to kill myself over Thanksgiving?

Surely I’ve earned a little time to ease up, right?  Why not kick back, put up my feet, and relax and spell? Would it kill me to rest on those laurels a bit?

Um, yeah. In case you’re wondering, the moment I had that thought a few days ago was the moment that I realized I would, in fact, be signing up to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  Because, sure, I might have had a pretty productive 2013 so far, but the last time I checked there are still plenty of other windmills out there to charge.  Maybe I have topped a hill or two, but there’s a mountain range standing before me three times the size of my rather prodigious ego, and nobody ever got to the top of the big ones by putting on their slippers and fetching their pipe.

The path to one’s dreams rarely goes through Easytown.

Mine, for sure, does not.

Oh, hell, no.

So, yeah, I’m stomping on the pedal hard, ready to tilt at that next windmill.  This one just so happens to be NaNoWriMo 2013*.

And on December 1, when I’ve knocked it aside by finishing a first draft of Project Tennyson, well, then we’ll size up the next one.


*Join me! Once you’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo yourself, be sure to look me up (jasonarust) and make me your NaNo buddy.  Let’s run rampant over these windmills together.

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