This is the first year I’ve participated in NaNo. I’ve thought about it a couple of times. Once I started but dropped out early, citing the reasoning that it just didn’t work with my “process.” But, I think I get it now.
It’s sort of like when I actually became a writer instead of a person who wants to write. At first, I wrote because it would be cool / financially gainful / fun (ha!) to write a book. But then, it wasn’t all that fun–at least some of the time–and odds are not in anyone’s favor to actually sell a book or for it to be particularly financially gainful. It is still cool. That’s right. I’m a writer, y’all.
And NaNo, I thought it was about winning. About writing those fifty thousand words. But it’s not. It’s about writing. Just writing for the love of it and with the abandon we deserve, the abandon to write badly, but to have written.
I probably won’t win. I have three kids and a full time job and a husband who works a bajillion hours so a lot of the household responsibilities fall on me, after my 40. That’s my life, and I like it, but it may mean I don’t get to 50k words in 30 days. But I’ll write every day. And I will write without analyzing what I’ve written for perfection and fretting over the way I don’t do description so much in a first draft or my characters seem to really be saying “really” a lot. I will write for whatever small amount of time I can pull away and actually accomplish writing–I can thank Dr. Wicked for that. (Write Or Die.) And I will revel in the fun of writing, the creation, the characters speaking to me, the excitement of watching my story unfold without once thinking, “I’m such a bad writer.”*
So NaNo is like what they teach us when we’re kids. It’s not whether you win or lose (although you rock out loud if you win, go you!), it’s how we play the game.
*I’m not actually a “bad” writer. My inner editor just likes saying so. A lot. You know how that is.
Image by ~leftnwrite08