Monday, October 13, 2014

# Mild-Mannered Mondays # Monday Musings

Why I'm Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

I logged into the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) site today. It told me I've been a member for "about" 8 years. Every year since, I've started the race on November 1--and every year, I've crossed the 50k goal. Along the way, I hosted NaNo contests, mentored new writers, and come December, couldn't wait until November rolled around again. I couldn't even foresee a time in which I wouldn't want to jump on the bandwagon. Until now.

I'd been eyeballing the calendar for a while now, watching November approach on swift wings not with a sense of anticipation, but with dread. Folks who've been following my blog know I've been struggling with writing this year. There are lots of busy reasons why I've put the pen aside, but I know there is truly only one reason why my schedule has derailed writing so completely. My heart isn't in it. 

I've tried and tried again to rework my writing schedule to fit daily life, and it took me a while to figure out why my new schedules weren't working out any better than the old one. Word count has eluded me completely, and during the times words do flow, they leak all over the place without good rhyme or reason. This time of year is not traditionally when I do the bulk of my writing, thanks to other obligations, but this has been going on for some time now. And last week, I realized that what's happening is not just because of my summer life blitz or Mercury being in retrograde. It's not just that I've fallen out of discipline as a writer. It's that I just plain don't want to write. When I try to crack the whip and make myself get to it, the results show that lack of heart. My readers--and my muse--deserve more.

In light of this, I have decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I also pulled out of an anthology I was participating in so I could focus on family and spend some "me" time. Neither of these was an easy decision. A writer who isn't writing feels to me a lot like a fish who isn't swimming. But it's obvious that my cup is way beyond empty right now, and scheduled days off from writing for fun and such isn't cutting it. What's needed, I suspect, is an honest to goodness, sanctioned hiatus. I'll spend more time with my family, do some stuff outdoors, enjoy the holidays in a way I haven't let myself for a long time because of all the work I have to do. 

With the last book in my Lone Wolves series still unfinished, this is a tough pill to swallow. But I need to take my medicine. That book deserves my absolute best, and I seem to have lost it. I'm hoping it doesn't take long to find it again. 

On select Mondays, I like to gab about writing or whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

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