Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Why I am doing this

A few people have asked me why I am doing NaNoWriMo when I have said:

1.  I really have no desire to write fiction.  Never have.

2.  I don't have time in my day to write $1600+ words of fiction!

So to borrow a trite phrase:

It's for the children.

My children.    

When I asked them if they were interested in doing this project for our homeschool, they were enthusiastic about it. The girl has always enjoyed writing; her participation was a no-brainer.  The boy has not.  He has always struggled to write anything: fiction, nonfiction, a thank you note, a sentence.  But he wanted to try this. He got excited about this.

They were up for it.  And they wanted me to do it too.

So what was I supposed to say?

"No, I don't want to write a story.  I don't write fiction."    Now they can understand that preference. My boy doesn't write stories either.  But, um, what do you write, Mom?  Other than grocery lists and blog posts and comments?  Huh?   If you want me to try it, why can't you try it too?

"I don't have time."  Right.  We don't either, Mom. Of course they know that my word count is a lot bigger than theirs. And they know I don't have as much free time in my day as they do.  But still.  I'm asking them to sacrifice free time for something I want them to do. 

How about this, which might be just as valid as my other reasons:   "I don't think I can do it and I don't want to embarrass myself by trying."  Huh.  OK, Mom, got it.  We don't think we can do it either. Why bother trying then?

So I could not say no.  Last night as I cleaned the kitchen after neglecting it all day I wondered if it was worth it.  I asked the seminarian if he thought it was a good use of my time.  After all, it's not like the time he spends reading and studying.  There is a purpose to his.  My purpose is a little hard to see.  I'll get a certificate that says I wrote a crummy novel.  The kids may get paperback copies of theirs - I am still a little unclear on that.  But he agreed it was worth it.  Even after frozen fish fillets for dinner.  (From Aldi, and actually pretty good and cheap too.) 

Now if you are a mom whose kids are doing this and you are not, don't think I'm pointing my finger at you.  Your kids are not mine; I'm living my life and you are living yours.  So there is no criticism here.  I'd rather not be doing this.  And yet I am so glad I said yes.  And that they said yes.

But ask me again at the end of week two. 

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