If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. –Henry David Thoreau

Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month. A 30 day period where myriad writers rush to write 50,000 words. It’s great. Or it’s horrible. Or both, in some cases. But right about now, you might be feeling pressured to join.

I’ve done it twice, and both times I enjoyed the momentum as people psyche themselves up to become mad writing fools for a month. I felt energized by so many other writers joining me in a stampede to write as much as I could.

This year, I’m in revision mode. I’m deleting more words than I write, and trying to do Nanowrimo would do nothing but make me feel guilty. In case you might be in a similar position, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

It’s okay to just say No.

Look, I’ll make it official if you like 🙂

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In case you’d like to download this and print it out, I’ve (hopefully) set the certificate as a downloadable Word doc.

nonowrimo certificate in doc form.

It’s okay not to do Nanowrimo.  Maybe Nanowrimo will work for you next year. Maybe not. If you want to be a writer, you need to write. But you can march to the beat of a different drummer if that works better. So long as you keep writing, you’re doing good. And you can tell that little voice of self doubt (yes, that one that’s lurking in the back of your consciousness) that I said so.

It probably won’t be impressed, but you never know. It’s worth a try.