Why I’m Quitting NaNoWriMo

First off, no, I’m not quitting writing. But over the past week I’ve had some realizations that made me rethink what I’m doing.

I started off NaNo this year on a slow pace, and it never really got any faster. And with each passing day, I felt more and more pressure to catch up. I was also putting in full, mentally draining days at work (I’m half the IT department for a regional HVAC distributor) and was spending all my off hours time at write ins. It was wearing me down, and it showed. In particular, I started developing small illnesses and injuries that in the past have been warning signs that I’m pushing myself too hard.

And then it hit me. I don’t need to do this. I’ve started NaNoWriMo four times now, and “won” twice. I know I can do it. I also know I don’t have to.

A lot of professional authors like the idea of NaNoWriMo but don’t participate themselves because writing a novel is _what they already do every day._ And it finally dawned on me that this applies to me as well. When I’m done with _Crusade_, my editor and I are going to tackle getting _Revelation_ ready to post on the various ebookstores (Amazon, iTunes, B&N, etc.). Then I’m going to write _Jihad_, the third book in the Between Heaven and Hell trilogy. Then I’m going to edit _Crusade_. And so on. I’m going to be writing every day, or nearly so, all year round. So why kill myself to meet an arbitrary deadline I’ve already proven I can beat?

So best of luck to all of you still trying to beat NaNoWriMo this year, especially those of you who have never won it. I’m going to plod along at my own speed.