What does it mean if I deliberately choose not to finish my NaNoNovel?
Well, it means I don’t want to write a novel right now. Right now, it’s not where I am.
The avowed point of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing every day, whether they feel like it or not. I never don’t feel like it. (What a sentence.) In fact, I have been writing most days. Just not on the novel.
NaNoWriMo has made me realize a few things. For one, I tend to be of the persuasion that there are enough novels out there, and they shouldn’t substitute for real brain food. Like, I mean, educational stuff, y’know? I do think people should keep educating themselves throughout their lives.
A novel can be brain fodder in some respects. But, to quote my church librarian, “I need something to challenge me.” Now, that’s a librarian who loves to read. So I don’t feel so bad for feeling the same way.
For another thing, I’m not interested in taking on the time commitments of a novel right now. I don’t mean the writing of it. I’ve written two and a half full-length manuscripts before. I know I can do that. I also know I can edit them, get them critiqued, jump through all the hoops to make them actually readable and enjoyable.
It’s the stuff that comes after–the publication process, the marketing process. It’s a lot of work, and this year has been about shedding the extra work. Our family’s not in need of anything except more time together right now.
What am I doing, then? Reading short stories and practicing their craft. Examining some article ideas. And still freelance editing. Even if full-length fiction isn’t my goal or my destiny, the writing world is full of possibilities and opportunities. There is a niche for everyone.