NaNoWriMo follow up

Warning: Contains me being positive and uplifting, supportive, cussing AND LOVE. (Taken from my tumblr)
So we’re 6 days into December and NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Holy crap. Time flies. Now though, I’m hearing a lot of people in the writing community complain about their “wins” and “losses” in November. 
Let me put it right out there in black and white for everyone: not hitting 50 k words in November is not a “loss.” IT IS NOT A LOSS. Hitting, meeting, or surpassing 50 k words in November is not a “win.” IT IS NOT A WIN. 
Do you see where I’m going with this?
The numbers and the deadline are arbitrary. Just because you were unable to pump out a first draft of 50,000 words or more in 30 days doesn’t mean that you’re “not cut out to be a writer”, or that “you’ll never make it as a novelist”, or that “you’re not good enough to write,” or any of the other negative things that you’re probably complaining about after your so-called “loss”. It means that maybe 50,000 words in 30 days doesn’t work for you. And that’s all right! Maybe your one story didn’t quite make it to 50,000 words. That’s also cool! Maybe November was a busy as hell month and you couldn’t devote the time to writing that you had anticipated. That’s perfectly all right, too.
And let’s look at the flip side of that! Just because you wrote 50k, or 100k, or, like some insane people that I know, 285k and beyond, well, that doesn’t mean that you’re gonna “make it” as a writer either. It doesn’t mean you’re “good enough” or that you’re “cut out” to be a writer. It means that you had a whirlwind month and one or more story ideas that seemed to magically flow from your fingertips onto the pages of your draft and into your computer or whatever the hell you use to write that many words in 30 days. (You insane, freaky ass cyborgs you.)
While yes, the feeling of accomplishment from finishing the first draft of your novel is a great thing, the point is to build good writing habits that should theoretically stick with you year-round. Making yourself the time to sit and write 1667 words a day (minimum) is the goal. They say that it takes 30 days of repetition for an action to become a habit. Oh look at that. Writing 1667 words per day for 30 days. Huh, seems like they were trying to reinforce the idea of making writing a habit, wouldn’t you agree?
Personally, I do NaNoWriMo every year. I have been participating for 4 years. And I participated in both “Camp NaNo” session this year. I have completed (and surpassed) the 50,000 word goal on every one of them. Out of those 6 sessions, only 2 works have been polished enough to merit submissions to anything. The third one is nearing completion but is getting cut down to around 35,000 words and will finish life as a “novella”. The other three things I’ve written are being completely discarded and reworked when I feel like delving back into them, which will likely never happen.
All of the works I’ve submitted have needed major polishing. Nothing was perfect right out of the gate. And, I’ve managed to keep the writing habit year-round, however. I write other things too, so there’s one good thing about being a “Wrimo”.
The point of it all is this: stop beating yourself up over an arbitrary number that dictates whether you’ve “won” or “lost” NaNoWriMo. Face it. “Win” or “lose”, you still ended up with more words than you had at the beginning of the month. And that is the goal in the long run. 
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About kaikiriyama

I'm a writer. I write everything from shorts, to novels to screenplays and then some. I like comic books, ponies, zombies, pokemon, monsters, demons, vampires and mythology. I walk a fine line between badass, scary and girly. View all posts by kaikiriyama

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