Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Self-Imposed Deadlines and the Beauty of the Journey

Over on YA Highway today they're talking about Nanowrimo and who's going to participate. I've gone through a tug-of-war over Nano for two years now and I never end up participating. Once, I tried, but I quickly lost interest in my new concept and preferred to work on the series I'm hopelessly in love with. I also didn't include any word counts for Nano.

from the article: What's the point of Nanowrimo?
I always balk at things that 'everyone's doing' and wonder that a writing race can cause so much stir in the writing community. I'm glad so many are finding comradery in it, but those of us who don't participate have to wait a whole month before we become part of the community again. If you're not Nanoing, you're not cool. I'm not concerned about being cool, though. The cool people peak in high school.

I've heard too many stories of Nanoers hating their nano-spawn so that they don't touch it again after they finish. They rush their words to reach the quota instead of enjoying their story and the journey it takes them on. Then they're faced with a daunting pile of words to shape into a publishable story. But not every nanoer's goal is to publish, and not every nanoer hates their finished product at the end of the month. Some simply want to prove they can finish a novel in that time. That's a good enough reason to do Nano.

The main concern I have with Nano is the assumption it can work for everyone. I've learned that my process of writing (pantsing), researching, brainstorming, writing and editing wouldn't work for a goal like Nano. And that's perfectly fine.

This brings me to thanking everyone for their comments on the last post Is Your Path to Publication a Hiking Trail? My path is a hiking trail, but it's a lovely one. We aren't trying to race each other to publishing. If we were, there'd be a whole lot more self-published (and poorly-written) work out there.

So if you're doing Nano or not, don't forget your goals and your reason for having them. When things get tough, remind yourself what you've already accomplished and what you've learned.

Getting anxious on the trail happens, but it helps to remind yourself how far you've come. I've learned I can turn out a novel in a matter of months, going at my own pace, and I'm pretty proud of that.

1 comment:

  1. NaNo definitely has pros and cons. I never participated before last year because I never had an all-consuming idea at that time of the year to work on. Last year, though, I wrote the first draft of Sing, Sweet Nightingale as my NaNo project and that's the project that is finally getting published. Like all tools, NaNo is there to be used when it suits you to use it. I won't be NaNoing this year, but I'm definitely a fan of the idea.


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