The thing I hate most about NaNoWriMo is how relentless it is. You put forth all this effort, and it’s very intense, and you make your word goal for the day, and you feel very noble and proud of yourself. Then you have to get up and do it all again the next day. And the next. For thirty days in a row.

Unless you’ve had a really fabulous day where you wrote, say, 5000 words or more, there is no taking a day off to celebrate or recover. Instead, when you’re not writing, you’re always thinking about your story and trying to figure out how to have something interesting to write the next time. There is no “down time.”

Whenever I find myself resenting this, I remind myself that this is what I actually want to do full time in my empty nest years. This is what successful writers do. They write lots of words, every day. They don’t take time off. It is hard enough to make money as a writer, even if you do write every single day. So the reality is that what I’m going through this month is what I can expect all the time in years to come. However, I won’t have so many other responsibilities by then, so I am hopeful I won’t find it quite so onerous at I do now.

One thought on “Relentless

  1. I’m not participating in Nano, but I do try to write 1000 words a day and completely understand your sentiment. Like I imagine you are, I’m very busy (full time teacher, tennis coach, coach of forensics team, husband, father of a 5 month old). For me, the hardest adjustment to meeting my goal was realizing that I couldn’t afford hobbies anymore. I have to think of writing as a hobby and learn to enjoy it. To tell the truth, I still don’t enjoy the process, but I absolutely love the feeling at the end of a day well-spent. When I lie in bed and know that I produced something worthwhile. I know that I contributed to who I want to be and where I want to be. If you and I can keep doing that one day at a time, we may not end up where we expect, but we will certainly end up somewhere better than if we don’t keep trying.


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