Skip to main content

Why I Dropped Out Of NaNoWriMo 2014

I've been doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for almost ten years now, and while I haven't completed the challenge every year, this is the first year I've actively backed out. While I love the endeavor and plan to return to it next year, I simply cannot do it now. Here's why.

1). I'm Fresh Off Of A Brand-New Publication

On November 3, I published my second dark epic fantasy novella Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra. This is the first work I've ever charged for under my own name. Whoever said writing was half the work of an indie author wasn't kidding. Beyond the writing and publishing of the novella, I'm completely responsible for all of my own marketing, and to be honest, I never thought about what I'd do after the novella was released. So I find myself scrambling to build from the initial surge and raise awareness (and hopefully sales) for the story.
It's almost a full-time venture on its own.

2). I'd Rather Focus On One Excellent Project Than Three Average Ones

Recently, I had to concede that I'm not ready to write a full-fledged novel. I'm not sure if it's a mental block, fear of failure, or whatever. I have a hard time keeping track of so many events and characters in a single story, and it led to many unfinished projects (that I will complete one day).

What I can do, I've found, is write novellas (between 22-25k words) that tie together into one larger tale. I initially wanted to do two novellas and one short story this month, and about a third of the way through the first novella, I realized that there was no way I could complete three novellas worth reading.

I am establishing a brand based on quality, rather than quantity. My entire focus is to one quality project at a time instead of churning out three pieces of garbage that drain editing time and resources.

3). I Can't Push Life Out Of The Way This Time

I am starting a new life across the state with my girlfriend and (God willing) my youngest son. I am very close to gaining full custody of him. I am also entering the final stages of my divorce (which I imagine is like the end of DC's Final Crisis, when Darkseid was falling through reality and taking everything with him). Traditionally, I could brush aside everything and back-burner the day job to make NaNoWriMo happen, but with people depending on my actions, I cannot be that reckless anymore.

I love NaNoWriMo and I've met some truly wonderful people during the endeavor. I recommend it for everyone who's even thought about writing a book, but don't be ashamed if you can't make the goal.

There's always next year.

Thanks for reading.


Lee Capp said…
It is tough to write a full-length novel. #2 reason is a Bear, but #3 is a Ring-tailed Bitch. Real life just NEVER stops getting in the way. Best of luck in your move, your marketing, and your writing. Do what you can manage for now. Write Novellas in series. Why not? They are very good. String enough together and you might just have a TV series. Stranger things have happened. Most of all, never lose the Faith. You have to believe things will get better. Take care now.
Wendy said…
I'm sorry you did not come back to Nanowrimo this year, but it sounds like you have a full plate! Good luck with your current projects. :)
Dan Waltz said…
I feel your pain. I just finished up and released last years NaNoWriMo novel (ASH, Like a a Tattoo) 4 days ago myself. I found it very hard to change gears when the excitement of finishing one that you worked so had on is still so fresh. I maybe dropping out as well as it has put me too far behind and my attention is still on ASH and marketing. Good luck with your book. Like you said, there's always next year.

Popular posts from this blog

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and