Today’s post is meant to be somewhat of an encouragement, as I’ve recently read and spoke to a few nanoers and have been offering my encouragement all day. Some folks have just started, a few are several days behind, others are worried about word count.
Those are all legitmate things with legitmate worries. But that isn’t the point of Nano.
The point of nano is to have more words than when you started out. Considering that you begin November with 0 words, I’d say that anything 0+ is an improvement. If you reach the 50,000 words, that’s awesome. I’ll give you a brownie. But if you tried, enjoyed the ‘trying’ and had a blast doing it, I don’t care whether you hit the 50k or not, I’ll still give you a brownie.
You did your best. You tried. You had fun. You learned something in the midst of it, I’m sure and that’s what this is all about. I’ve had more fun this year as an ML, because I’ve been able to interact with my wonderful wrimos, make new writing buddies and chat with old nano friends. I’ve been drawn into the whole nano aspect and as someone who could make a career out of being an introvert, it’s been well worth it. I’m glad Nano’s pulled me out of my shell a bit (even if I haven’t stopped stressing since!), it’s been an amazing experience.
I’ve had the chance to share, laugh and encourage so many folks who are writing and it’s been special to hear the congratulations and nanomails that stuff my inbox (I am replying to them folks, just give me time, it’s been a LONG week). I’m touched, flattered and I’ve tear-ed up.
You wrimos are an amazing breed of writing folk. The sense of community stands out more than anything and I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. I’ve said before that I think I’m addicted for life. I probably am. It’s not the whole “needing more headspace” or “having pretty web icons”, but the chance to write freely and uncensored, to share on the project without worry of rejection and to have the pat on the shoulder or the kick in the pants to keep me going.
I feel like Linus in a Charlie Brown Christmas, where Charlie Brown explodes “Doesn’t anybody know what Christmas is all about?” I find myself smiling as I listen to one wrimo on the last strands of her sanity, as I answer the “Doesn’t anywrimo know what Nano is all about?” in typical Linus fashion, “It’s about fun, it’s about writing what you love and it’s about your writing process.” To quote Chris Baty, “The world needs your novel” so go ahead and write it. Forget about word counts, who’s ahead of who, who’s behind of who. Quit procrastinating on the threads, grumping about how you didn’t have time to write or fretting over how behind you are.
Take your moments. Have them. If you have to whine, fight, kick and scream, go ahead. I won’t stop you. But I will be the person standing off to the side timing your temper tantrum with a stopwatch and waiting to give you one of two options when you’re finished a), a hug or a hand up (encouragement) or b) a kick in the pants (ENCOURAGEMENT!). It’s up to you which one you want to take. I’ll happily deliver both.
NaNoWriMo is something I look forward to every year, no matter how complicated and stuffed my schedule gets. Even if I am only writing on the weekends or texting dialogue to myself, I am writing–and I enjoy every single wild, wonderful moment of it. That’s what Nano is about. Today is a special day the famed 11-11-11, and some folks are writing for 11 hours, aiming for 1,111 or 11,111 words. Go ahead and try for that. Write for 11, if the big words are too much. Write bunches of 11’s. Just plain write.
I know you can do this–as long as you really, truly want to do it. So go ahead, get back to writing and remember, I’m a ninja and I’m hovering somewhere behind you–invisibly of course–and I’m cheering for you 100%.
I’m not giving a word count today. That’s not important. What is important is giving this writing adventure your absolute best effort. Throw yourself into it. When you give 100% of yourself, it’s hard to be disappointed with the results when you know you did all that you possibly could.
Three cheers from a fellow wrimo in TN,