Monday, November 16, 2015

Why I'm Okay with 'Failing' NaNoWriMo

It's just over halfway through the month and my NaNo book should be sitting at the 25k word mark. Yeah, about that...

The day job and life and procrastination have all done damage to my daily word count, and as I slip further and further behind, the hope of finally 'winning' this thing considering I've tried multiple times now, goes up in proverbial flames.

But, all is not lost because while I might not be hitting the NaNo daily goal, words are still being written and that is always a win. If I hadn't signed up with NaNo, I probably wouldn't have spent October actively engaged with this idea researching and plotting, developing character arcs and drawing maps of my world. Without this self-imposed pressure to show off my progress to my writing buddies, I'd probably be procrastinating a lot more because I'd only be accountable to myself. By joining this writing community, I've forced myself to be productive!

Attempting NaNoWriMo again after a few years of not even trying, has also taught me a few valuable lessons about myself as a writer:

1) I'm a slow drafter who can't write something new without rereading what I wrote yesterday.

2) I want to enjoy the process of writing and not just watch the word count grow.

3) I might sit down to write for 2 hours and end up spending 1.5 of those hours doing research.

I am okay with all of this. It's who I am as a writer and forcing myself to pump out 50k words in a month just isn't enjoyable. Even as an exercise, it would be an exercise in futility for me because I'd hate the process (probably end up hating the book I'm writing too) and would end up with a shoddy first draft I despised because writing it had been more of a chore than a pleasure. This is why I'm okay with 'failing' NaNoWriMo. Honestly, it's not really a failure at all.

NaNo has and will continue to be a great motivator, and if that's all it is to me, that's okay because I will finish this book - eventually - and I'll have enjoyed every moment of writing it.

Final word? If you're writing this November, I wish you all the best with your NaNoWriMo endeavours! Just know that it's totally okay if NaNo isn't for you and you are NOT a failure for not being able to write 50k in 30 days!

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