It's not so much a decision I made as a foregone conclusion I found myself internalizing over the last few months. Last year already, my participation did not go over smoothly, not without causing minor household drama anyway, and that was with one less baby home.
But this year, a tipping point has been passed, and I'm sitting this one out.
Mind, it's not a matter of time. Of course I don't have time, but I didn't have time last year either. That doesn't have to matter. It's all about finding time somehow. I once wrote a chapter late at night in a lightless room hundreds of miles from home under the dim dim glow of a craptacular netbook's screen on the day of a funeral; that's the sort of thing you end up doing. I could probably do it again, one way or another.
But I'm not. Here I am, sitting there while half a thousand friends partake in the mad intense race and bolster each other with tales of wordcounts and crazy plot twists. What bugs me is that my brain wants to read this as a sign I'm missing out on life.
NaNoWriMo was hard. I didn't expect that not doing it would be hard too.
But that's the whole point. I may not be good at accepting it, but missing out on some bits of life is what I signed up for when I decided to have kids. This is me trying to be adult about it. (I'm not doing great at it, but we're not exactly talking of my core set of qualifications, here.) At some point you've got to go home and be a family man, as the wisdom of the early 90's would put it.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to keep writing unrelated bits of stuff, at a somewhat less involved pace; the rationale is that NaNo tends to drain me dry of literary oomph anyway, so I might as well use the fallow year for other stuff. (This is not working out very well thus far but my externalizing it here is part of addressing the issue.)
So, right. You gentlemen of November fortunes, have a good one on my behalf.