Why I keep Writing But I Won’t do NaNoWriMo


warning this post is very personal. It involves the death of a child and might be considered too much for some people. You have been warned.

Since it is nearly October and it is the time when people start asking that question, “Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?” I thought I would give my answer early. Last year, like several years before I tried NaNoWriMo. To be honest with you, I really looked forward to doing NaNo every year, even the years that I didn’t do so well, because, well it is a lot of fun. Unfortunately that all changed last year. About 6 days in tragedy struck our family, and we lost our new baby, who died on her birthday. I am not looking for sympathy here, but understand that that kind of event shapes your life. No matter what you do after that, it will be effected by something like this.Generic-73x73

For a long time I could not even bring myself to write. I felt like maybe If I had been paying closer attention to my wife, if I had not been distracted by so many things (NaNoWriMo included) I would have seen some problem and been able to prevent this from happening. I put everything aside, for much longer than it took for her (my wife) to recover physically. I don’t think any of us have yet recovered emotionally. When it first happened, I mean when I could think of anything other than what had just happened, I told myself I was done, no more writing. Months later told myself ok maybe I could write again. Now as we near her birthday, I tell myself that I can write, and that is ok, but I can’t do NaNoWriMo.

Let me be clear, I don’t blame NaNoWriMo for anything. The people / the contest everything are blameless. I totally blame myself for what happened and for not paying enough attention. I am much more balanced with my writing and the rest of my life, and at this point I just don’t think that I can do NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe not ever again. But for all you NaNo’s out there, I wish you the best. I will cheer you on from the sidelines. And I will keep plugging away at my writing.

Thank you,

2 thoughts on “Why I keep Writing But I Won’t do NaNoWriMo

  1. I am sorry for your loss, Jeff. A good friend (and writer) who lives near me suffered a similar loss about the same time. She turned to athletics as a way to cope. If you would find comfort in her story, I’d recommend Mette Harrison’s “Ironmom”.

    1. Kevin,

      Thank you for the recommendation. I have poured myself into family and my life over the last year. I have mostly recovered. It is friends like you that make this easier.

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