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TOPIC: Something I posted on the NaNo Boards

Something I posted on the NaNo Boards 5 years 1 month ago #1605

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This is my 12th year at NaNo. I've won every year. I usually push for a higher count than I would normally do, and I sometimes experiment with a new genre or POV to see if I would like to do more with them later.

I am not an 'overachiever' which I think sends the wrong message. I am only challenging myself, so what others do doesn't matter. What I do is in relationship to my usual writing, not to anyone else's work. I'm not concerned with 'overachieving' in relationship to what others are writing in November. My focus is on the fun of writing and pushing a bit harder than I normally would.

And this is where I think a lot of people take a wrong turn in NaNo. They start making the event into a competition with others rather than looking at their own usual work and basing this month to push harder on that criteria. This means if they fall short of some number -- 50k, 100k or whatever -- they feel as though they've failed and NaNo is no longer fun.

I'm going to tell you the big secret about NaNo that not a lot of people realize:

It's not about the word count.

HUH?

Oh, it's nice to make the 50k and know you can make that push, but it's far more important to reach a goal that works for you, the individual. If you have never written more than 10k in a month, writing twice as much is a huge step. If you have never managed to write an entire story from start to finish, then reaching The End (no matter what the word count) is a huge achievement. If you've never managed to write for more than three days in a row, setting a goal of at least five days every week is a huge step. Base what you want to achieve on your previous level of work.

You could do that any time, right? So why bother with NaNo, then?

NaNo is a wonderful collection of people taking part in an intellectual marathon. As in every marathon, not everyone will reach the finish line. Some will race far ahead of the others; some will even do a far longer marathon. There will be a lot of camaraderie, suggestions and dares -- however, once you start your run, you have to concentrate on what you are doing and how hard you're pushing yourself, not what anyone else is doing.

The people who focus too much on what others are doing lose track of the most important aspect of NaNo: Having fun. It can be fun to find a group of people who are writing at about the same speed you are and challenge yourself to get into the lead of that group. However, when you start worrying about what someone thousands of words ahead of you is doing, then you focus on the wrong thing. You're looking outside your own level and you're going to be disappointed that you can't beat them. (And if you are going to aim at going from 0 words a day to some huge number, remember how easy it is to injure your hands. I'm serious. NaNo isn't worth crippling yourself for the next few weeks, or worse.)

NaNo is about gathering together with a group of writer friends and having fun. It's wonderful, exciting and it can nudge you into doing something fantastic and wonderful no matter what the word count. Just remember to enjoy yourself, focus on your own needs, and don't worry about the rest of us.
RAVENTOWER & MERRIWEATHER 1: SECRETS

Lord Micalus Raventower is a genius at creating clockwork creatures and tinkering with steampunk engines, but that doesn’t explain why Atiran assassins are suddenly intent on killing him. Lt. Merriweather is assigned to protect the eccentric young lord, and she soon learns there may be good reasons for the Atrians to want Lord Raventower dead.

www.smashwords.com/books/view/673823
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Replies in Topic: Something I posted on the NaNo Boards

Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards jschara 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
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Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards Gilroy 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards Lin Sp 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards J.A. Marlow 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards colorbird 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards MarFisk 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards ConnieCockrell 5 years 1 month ago
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Something I posted on the NaNo Boards zette 5 years 1 month ago
Something I posted on the NaNo Boards Becky Black 5 years 1 month ago
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