Normally I don’t talk about Nanowrimo at this blog. Nanowrimo is a yearly charity event where people worldwide try to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It’s run by a non-profit in an attempt to raise money for building libraries and encouraging young writers and readers.
I tend to talk about this event in spaces where there are other participants. Mainly on Twitter and Facebook because that’s where we encourage each other ( and for the Nano-aware, that’s where all the sprints are happening).
But it happened. I participated. And I did it. And by it, I mean writing 50k words in November (while not injuring my wrists). You may think, “that’s easy for you, Siobhan you write all the time, writing is your thing, whatever.” Writing doesn’t stay my thing unless I write every day. I write every day less than half the year.
Is completing this 50k challenge me being talented? No. It was not talent. It was a long process that most people don’t see or talk about when they talk about writing.
  • I used dictation software that I’ve been practicing with for months.
  • I read a book about that software so that I could use it more efficiently.
  • I spent a few grand on writing courses last year that I then failed to finish because I injured myself writing and went a bit nuts. Finishing is almost as scary as FAILURE. *hides*
  • I outlined METICULOUSLY
  • When the outlines got constricting, I ignored them.
  • I leaned into the support of my peers every chance I could, attending in person and online meetings and keeping a dialogue open with other participants (whether I knew them or not).
  • I was willing to write crap – I turned my editor off for Nano and was only able to do that because…
  • I’ve been attempting Nanowrimo almost every year since 2008. And each year you do it, it becomes clearer that it’s more important to start and maintain enthusiasm and silliness than to do anything else.
It’s not talent.
It’s stubbornness. It’s pride. It’s too much tea but consciously consumed. It’s a failed experiment that runs for a decade and gives you some of the craziest highs and lows of your life.
No matter the outcome, trying is always worth it. Keep writing. That’s how it becomes your thing.
Did you do Nanowrimo this year? Do you wish you had?
Answer in the comments or find me on Twitter @siobhansmirror

 

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