At least, in the northern hemisphere.
My November was a slog. I was doing some Googling on the provenance of NaNoWriMo, and I couldn’t agree more with #11 on this list: November is a shitty month. Dana of the Just One More Row podcast was talking about NaKniSweMo being tough because it’s in the month before Christmas, and I thought “that’s an excellent point. But why is it the month before Christmas?”
NaNoWriMo actually used to be in July, but according to its Wiki entry, it was moved to November to “fully take advantage of the miserable weather.” Why November, though? January is pretty miserable, and there’s very little going on then. February is even more miserable, and even shorter, which would make it a real challenge. (And it’s also totally doable to knit an adult sweater inside of 4 weeks. I’ve done it.)
Knitting a sweater during a cold, blustery month makes sense, because what better time to have some warm knitting on your lap that you will soon be able to wrap yourself up in? What reward do you get from crossing an arbitrary plane of 50,000 words in the second-busiest month of the year? I’m not saying it’s not a worthy goal, but when I did it, it didn’t push me towards trying to get published, it made me realize that writing novels was not for me, and I deleted the file out of shame and respect to the art of storytelling. It’s meant to be a challenge to your creativity, and I understand that – I just don’t understand why it is when it is. I doubt I’ll ever participate in NaNoWriMo again, but I think it might be better to have it in January. I definitely think NaKniSweMo would be better-served (and have more participation) by moving up a few months.
That said, I did finish my sweater in time. And while I am pretty pleased that I managed to finish it in a month that threw a lot of challenges my way (starting a new job that’s very busy, a 6-mile bike commute that leaves me too exhausted to knit most days, the fact that I had to frog 5 inches worth of ribbing because the sweater originally came out too short), I am more pleased that I managed to find a sweater quantity of a wool/silk blend yarn, and that I managed to finish the sweater with a few feet to spare. And I could have done that any time, on my own, if I wanted to (although I did win a prize, I just have yet to decide on a pattern). I suppose that even though I fancy myself a ruggedly independent sort of person, I’m still a joiner at heart.