Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: What Happens When You See NaNo as a "Competition"


Now that NaNoWriMo is over, it's time for the winners to either start editing or move on to something new.

I however, am not a winner. I did not expect to be, and I'm not at all upset by it. I had no time to finish; 50,000 words was not realistic, and I knew it.

However, I was in with a great group of NaNoers in my area, and almost everyone in the group succeeded. Throughout the month, I was motivated by them as competition; we turned NaNoWriMo into a race (or maybe that was just me, using them, per se). As the 30th crept up on us and I saw that I was not going to make it, I began to feel dejected. Some of them were doing it just for fun, just to see if they could write a novel in a month---I did it because I am a writer. Seeing them succeed and me fail turned me resentful.

But only for a moment. Their encouragement over the month was uplifting, their encouragement after the month was over even more so. Those who wrote 50,000 words in a month just to see if they could do not bother me in the least---in fact, I appreciate and respect them. They now know what it is like for the individuals who call themselves writers, attempting what they did, but every month out of the year. They wrote with word count in mind, with little regard for quality or the end result of publication in mind; now they understand what their writer friends' lives are like---looking at us, they have to image what the stress of reaching word count must be like with the prospect of others reading and judging it afterward in mind!

A suggestion to my writer/blogger pals: Do not resent those NaNoers who finished while you failed. Respect them. If you believe that you are a true writer, and if you have the courage to continue writing your manuscript, they will respect you too.

Peace, Aimee

5 comments:

  1. I didn't do NaNo but I think this idea of doing it with a group sounds great. A lot of encouragement and inspiration can come from it. I'll be sure to be part of your group when I finally try it, and I'll be very happy for the ones who make it. Even if I don't.

    Happy holidays

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  2. I wrote something along these lines a while ago. The idea of NaNo is to create enthusiasm for writing. However, if the process of trying to get 50k on paper deteriorates your writing process in favor of poor quality word count, it probably isn't worth it. Good for you to recognize this :)

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  3. I agree--you can really suck the fun out of NaNo if you use it to judge your abilities as a writer. I figure any progress I make is cause for celebration, and if I do manage to write 50K words, that's icing on the cake! :)

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  4. I think it's terrific that you did Nano, and I really respect that you did it in a way that worked for you. I bet you got alot of writing done! :)

    And I agree, it's not a race, competition or reflection of your writing skills. It's just a tool, and a fun event!! :)

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