All around the world, thousands of enthusiastic writers started their NaNoWriMo novels today.
I did not.
Although I deeply pondered whether or not to do NaNo this year, I finally decided not to do it. And not because I had a shortened writing timeline due to travel plans, or because my idea was half baked. No, I decided not to NaNo because I realized that for me it was a form of procrastination in disguise as artistic productivity.
You know how you’re most likely to clean your room late at night when you really should be studying? That’s me with my music projects. I love to take on unbelievable responsibilities when I should be recording.
I’ve volunteered making art with homeless kids, walking dogs 90 minutes away, and serving coffee at a feminist bookstore. I’ve taken French acting classes, Brooklyn Brainery classes, gender/sexuality classes. I’ve been in too many unproductive bands and taken on too many low-paying freelance projects. I’ve worn myself down with Renaissance woman overachievement, all to have excuses to avoid working on the things I really care about the most.
I dove into NaNo in 2013 because I was in a songwriting drought. Its purpose was for me to exercise my creativity muscles, practice ignoring my inner critic, and eventually reawaken my music muse. I did the same in 2014. And guess what? I’m writing again now. I got to where I wanted to be.
NaNoWriMo has been wonderful and therapeutic for me in the past. But this year, instead of spending 60-90 minutes a day pounding on my computer keyboard, I’m going to make time for my other keyboard. And I’ll actually put it in my calendar instead of waiting until I’m done with everything else.
Remember that EP I said I was working on? Yeah. Let’s spend the first half of November actually doing that.