It’s that time of year again when a lot of people around the globe prepare for a mad dash toward 50,000 words while a few other write blog posts about how NaNoWriMo does not an author make.
I can understand authors who get riled up about the subject. I imagine there are a few people out there who participate in NaNoWriMo, win, and then decide that they are suddenly authors. Writers, yes, but authors?
On one hand, it’s a very exciting event that gets a lot of people together and raises a lot of money for nice causes. On the other hand, it could lead to some people being disrespectful and/or dismissive of what it is – and what it takes – to be an author.
To be quite honest… I think getting genuinely upset about NaNoWriMo is a waste of precious time. It gets people coming together in a positive way, people have fun and connect with others around the globe, and there aren’t a lot of ‘bad eggs’ out there badmouthing authors because ‘they totally wrote a book in a month’.
In numbers, 50,000 words does not make a novel or a novelist. It’s a novella, and – according to most – until a piece is published, you are not an author.
But those things shouldn’t stop anyone from participating, and it certainly shouldn’t cause anyone to badmouth NaNoWriMo or what it does for people.
In the end, it’s like anything: it’s all what you make of it.
Clocking in at 50,084 words, I am very happy to say that I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo this year. Woohoo! This is only the second time I’ve won, so I am very, very happy to be typing it now.
If you check out my stats page, you’ll see that I got around 14k behind – and stayed there – for a big chunk of the month. It just goes to show that you don’t give up. I had to finish up with classes and took a small holiday with my husband, and I still managed.
That is, of course, due to a very helpful husband and friends who understand that I just disappear sometimes.
I’ve tried NaNo many years and have failed many years, but I never regret participating. There is something about forcing the inner critic aside in order to let the words flow that is so useful to all writers. I have a friend who participated for the first time this year, and she said, “I don’t really care if I don’t get to 50,000 because I’ve already written more this month than I have all year.”
I’m so proud of her. She reached 20k and got a massive start on what sounds like an excellent novel idea. And that’s the point, really. Get that start. Dig in. Kick the critic out of your head.
My project is far from done, as Dark Echoes will easily reach 80k words. I don’t think it will be as long as Fading Echoes, but who knows…
Congratulations to everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo. Well done!
Yes, day three. I never was one for starting on time. *cough*DarkEchoesDeadline*cough*
As much as things are crazy right now (finishing my Certificate in Professional Writing & Editing, helping launch an anthology, helping to produce a short film, crying on the inside about the setbacks with writing Dark Echoes, becoming an Australian citizen…), I have decided to go ahead and join up with NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve missed the competition over the past couple of years, and it’s just the kind of thing I need to get the first draft of Dark Echoes finished.
Plus, I have an amazing ML from my region who makes the whole thing even better.
This year I am hoping to give something back to the people who run NaNoWriMo because it is such a fun and amazing endeavour on their part. I’m fundraising here if you would like to sponsor me. There just might be a werewolf with your name in Dark Echoes if you do…
You can find me HERE. On my author page, you can buddy me, read a quick and dirty synopsis of Dark Echoes, and even read a small excerpt from chapter one!
the competition new buddies, so definitely don’t feel shy!
Now it’s time to write. Day three means 5000 words. I’m only 4618 words behind. No problem!