Sunday, December 2

Embrace the Fail: NaNoWriMo Edition

This was my fourth consecutive year participating in NaNoWriMo (International Novel Writing Month) and I did not reach the 50,000 words required to win. I didn't even come close. Sure, I would have loved to have had a last moment win where I was the underdog and came up from behind - especially since no one believed I could, which is a little disheartening since I have finished NaNo in 5 days before and written 20k on the very last day - but I chose to keep my wrists intact for December.

For the first time I decided to be a NaNo Rebel and work on a rewrite instead of a first draft, which is not recommended for obvious reasons. This may have been what helped prevent me from winning, so to future NaNoWriMo Rewriters, 'Rebel at Your Own Risk.' Even so, I believe I got more out of my time rewriting than I would have with a first draft of a new novel. I know that quantity over quality is the point of NaNoWriMo but it isn't the place I was at with my writing. I knew where my focus needed to be.

A part of me knows that I could sink into sorrow at no longer having a perfect NaNoWriMo record or letting myself down or tarnishing how my fellow Naners see me...but I refuse to do any of that. Ever since my first (and hopefully last) encounter with shingles, a make up mistake and issues with anxiety which started during my first time participating in NaNo,  I decided that I would avoid stress at all costs, especially self-induced.

I see too many people beating themselves up because they don't reach the standards they set for themselves, freaking out because they're afraid of failing or getting anything less than triple gold star accomplishments. I fear that soon all their hair is going to fall out and they will burst out in shingles. It's not a fun fate.

In conclusion: KEEP CALM, STRESS IS MESS. Focus on the good things you can bring about for yourself and don't dig a hole of misery. You'll just find yourself buried in dirt, with worms crawling in your ears.

How do you deal with stress?


Dottie said...

Just for the record,I had and have no doubt that you could have completed the 50000 words in even the last day, if that was your goal. I have faith in you! But it's something to take pride in to be able to make the realization about what is right for you and to do it, even if it means not being a "winner", you still won. So congratulations!

Keri said...

You're the best, Dottie. ♥

Sarah said...

Hey, at least you went for it! And it sounds like it was time well spent. So good work on getting as far as you did! :)