Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Last Day of Nano

Today is the last day of November, and therefore the last day of Nanowrimo.  For those of you who have easily sailed past the 50k word count, Hearty Congratulations.  For those of you still scribbling frantically to reach the finish line before midnight, Keep Going, You Can Do It!  And for those of you who, for whatever reason, didn't make it and gave up along the way, Don't Feel Like A Failure.  I mean it.  Nano is not about winning or losing, passing or failing.  It's about empowerment.  And the fact that you tried at all makes you a winner.  Whatever word count you achieved is so many more words better than none.

Of course Nano isn't the B-all and End-all.  Even if you make the word count you still have all the revision ahead of you, and I suspect that's what has put a lot of people off doing it.  A crappy first draft isn't much help to you if your normal style of writing is measured and deliberate.  

If you can easily achieve high word counts I would suggest Nano is probably not for you.  Speaking for myself, Nano was a useful stepping stone in my writer's development, helping me to overcome the initial anxiety of writing something longer than a short story.  I had been dreaming stories for a long time, to the point where my focus was lost.  I needed something to make me sit down and do it.  My stumbling block was fear - fear of writing crap.  What I needed to learn was first drafts are generally crap anyway and that's OK.  

But I confess Nano doesn't have the same appeal to me any more.  Once you get a bit of confidence in your ability you probably don't need all that cheerleading and camaraderie.  In fact, it can become yet another distraction.

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