Attempting NaNoWriMo

I started participating in National Novel Writing Month my freshman year of college and took part in it through my senior year. The goal of NaNo is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It’s hard and challenging and a really great writing exercise for a perfectionist like me. I didn’t “win” (complete the challenge) my first year, but did the next three. 

Then came last year. I prepped to take part in NaNo for the fourth year. I wasn’t as excited as usual, which was weird. As you might remember from entries around that time, I was also severely depressed. In the end, I couldn’t finish the challenge and felt awful. 

So now it’s NaNo time again, and I feel frozen. Thanks to therapy and anti-depressants, I’m not as bad as I was last year. But I do have this fear that somehow, NaNo is now this Pandora’s Box of depression, that if I try to do it again, I’ll become just as depressed as I was then. This has led me to not plan out my novel and so now, two days before NaNo season begins, I have almost nothing. Usually this wouldn’t bother me- part of my joy over NaNo is jumping in like I never do with anything else. But not this time. I’m too afraid in too many other ways to be unprepared in this way.

I’m going to attempt NaNo this year, but I might drop off again, if only to save me from myself.


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