Commitmentophobe

It’s that time of year again.

NaNoWriMo.

I have never participated, but encourage others to do so. Now, before you call me a hypocrite, let me explain.

I am a commitmentophobe. Or a Sagittarian, however you want to phrase it. What? To borrow a phrase from Huck Finn, I don’t put a whole lot of stock into astrology, but it really is uncanny sometimes how “accurate” it can be.

If you look at the qualities of a Sadge, it’s pretty much dead-on about me.

Sagittarians don’t like commitment, BUT – once we do commit to something, it’s done. It’s all or nothing.

Hence my ambivalence about joining NaNoWriMo.

It’s not fear of failure or anything like that. I know I can do it.

It’s just that I know myself too well. I have to want to do it, and I’m not sure I want to. I, being a freedom-loving Sadge, don’t like the idea of HAVING TO write/be creative on demand. (Deadlines are different and I love them – they’re like a challenge.) Yet I know that writing daily is what you’re supposed to do as a writer and so NaNoWriMo is an excellent tool – for most other writers. Hence my encouragement to join.

Having that accountability works for a lot of writers. It works for me too, with other things – like going to the gym. I’ll perfectly happily stay in bed and sleep late, but if I know one of my friends will be disappointed or let down if I cancel our gym date, I’ll suck it up, leave my warm nest and go.

This does not mean, however, that I will go happily, or that I will go sans complaint.

But that’s neither here nor there. This is about NaNoWriMo.

I did kind of a little, personal, unofficial NonNaNoWriMo last year, where I attempted to write daily. Yeah, that so didn’t work. It worked for about a week.

Don’t ask me how this differs from crunch time on a deadline. It just does. I never claimed I was in any way sane.

However, this year I’m tempted to try the Official NaNoWriMo. Just to see. Just to say I’ve done it. I know several people who are doing it, but everyone knows that I’m not a joiner.

Maybe that’s got to do with being a commitmentophobe, but really I just think it’s got to do with me being an anti-social loner. I don’t “join” things. I work alone, thanks. If “everyone is doing it”, then I want no part of it. I’ll wait until everyone else is doing something else before I wander over and take a look at what they were so fascinated with.

But there’s also the hypocrite/”practice what you preach” aspect. Can I justifiably encourage writers of all levels – beginners, n00bs, semi-pros, professionals, wannabes and wish-they-hads – to do something that I, myself, am not doing/haven’t done?

Again, hence the ambivalence. Here it is, three days until the start of NaNoWriMo, and I’m still undecided about joining. I’ve got myself about 70% convinced that I should do it.

Go on, Dina…give it a shot.

70% is much better than last year, in which I didn’t think twice about NOT joining. I’d made up my mind that I wasn’t going to do it, and didn’t. At least, not officially.

This year…well…*straddles the fence*.

I work really well under pressure. That’s not the issue. Like I said, I’m not worried about being able to do it/make with the words.

I’m just not sure if I want to do it. For some reason, it’s all right if I want to do something. Then it’s my idea, and therefore cool, not something I’m only doing because “everyone else is doing it”.

What? It makes a warped kind of sense to me, and that’s all that matters.

So there! /maturity

Now here’s the part where I’ll pretend to let you all decide my participation (actually, it’s because I can’t seem to make up my own mind about it, and therefore will put the responsibility of the decision onto someone else – avoidance of duty FTW!):

In the form of a comment with one of the answers below, give me a yay or nay.

Should Dina subject herself to NaNoWriMo this year?

A) Absolutely! I want to watch her suffer! No way she can do it!

B) Give it a go! It’s a brilliant writing exercise and after all, you’ll get something out of it even if you don’t make it to the end.

C) Go on, you little hypocrite. Join up and row with the rest of us.

D) Don’t kid yourself. You’ve worked hard the last month anyway and did nearly 40k in a week alone! You deserve a break!

E) You’re considering this why? It’s so not you! Forget about it!

F) You’ve got work to do. Join NaNoWriMo and get to it, slacker!

I appreciate your input.

Oh, and if YOU are a past or present participant (alliteration, FTW!) in NaNoWriMo, let’s hear from you. If I do join, I’ll want to know what it’s like. I’m an inherent researcher by nature (another Sadge trait) and I’ve already gotten past the “how to” and “what’s involved” part.

Now I want to know how it feels/what it’s like to participate, not the mechanics of it.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
DJ

P.S. For those participating this year, read these awesome words of encouragement from Neil Gaiman.