Why I Don’t NaNo

I don’t participate in NaNoWriMo.

For those of you now scratching your heads, NaNoWriMo (hereafter referred to as “NaNo”) is the not-very-abbreviated abbreviation of National Novel Writing Month. Taking place in November of every year, it’s a challenge to participants to write a novel in thirty days – in this case, a “novel” meaning “fifty thousand words”.

I tried the challenge in college, but I had to come to a personal conclusion: it’s a bad time of year to do it.

For me, personally, almost any other month would be better (save December, due to Christmas travels). The word count required (less than two thousand per day) isn’t hard to hit.

But November is deer season.

In North Dakota, opening day of deer season is virtually a state holiday. Schools usually schedule to take the day off. (This year was an exception due to Veterans’ Day.) Most businesses run at part-staff. On Sunday, churches are usually female-dominated because the men are out in the field. (Deer-hunting widow is a common term used around here.)

My last job was working for a major company’s IT department. Now, IT isn’t usually considered the home of traditionally masculine pursuits, but here in ND large portions of the staff took off with rifles in hand to chase whitetails and mulies across the snow.

And deer season is two weeks long.

I was one of the lucky few to draw a buck tag this year. (Numbers are down state-wide, and I only had a single preference point.) Large portions of my spare time have been spent outside looking for The Big One. It’s definitely hard on the time necessary to hit my daily word counts for NaNo.

I’ll be danged if I’m going to be tied to a keyboard when I can be outside with a rifle, binoculars, and a deer tag.

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