It’s that time of the year again: NaNoWriMo is well ahead at the horizon and writers everywhere are preparing themselves for the next November write-a-thon.
I heard of NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2010, then participated for the first time in 2012, and “recently” won the damn thing for the first time in 2013 (still not sure how I did that).
I would love to participate again this year, however I need to write my last 4 term papers/essays until November, and then right away dive into my Master’s thesis and prepare for an oral exam that I will take sometime in November/December. Plus I had the brilliant idea to move houses in the midst of it all because I didn’t already have enough on my plate. Not to mention that I need to go hunting for jobs somewhere between January and March, which is also when I will hopefully hand in my thesis and write my last exam ever (!).
But a little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering to “just take part”, it’s “such a good idea”, and also will be “lots of fun”. Yeah, I know. Now shut up, please.
I’m still torn about it all… I always want so much and overload my plate with all kinds of tasks that seem necessary, useful, or incredibly fun to do. The thing is that I would know what to write about – the genre is set, I have a story in mind, and also a character and setting. I even scribbled something down to get a feel for the story. But the thing is I DON’T HAVE THE TIME.
I know – there will never be a perfect time, but there will always be plenty of excuses.
But that’s not what this is. This is about prioritizing, it is about creative writing vs. academic writing. And there are only so much hours in the day, and there is only so much sanity in our minds. It’s frustrating, really. Especially if the story is already there.
But I have decided I will not take part this year. I know myself too well: I would fly high for a certain time – and then crash into reality with the ugliest explosion ever seen on earth. I always seem to work in phases – the productive ones (everything is possible and totally manageable, yay!) and the horribly dead ones (nothing is possible, nothing will ever be possible, everything is so empty and boring and stupid).
So for the sake of my own sanity and productivity I have to proritize, even if I hate it, absolutely hate it. I don’t like it, but I will get over it sometime soon, and in the end I will be eternally grateful to myself to have made a rational and responsible decision. There will be a NaNoWriMo next year again. And I don’t want to be a student anymore when that happens.
So, first things first, even if it hurts.