With the arrival of December I can say farewell to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) until next year. It’s been a great experience and I’m delighted to report that I completed just over 32,000 words – thus hitting my own personal target. For the writers out there who haven’t tried Nanowrimo, or anything similar, then it’s worth considering next year. If you’re keen you don’t have to wait until next November as there is also Camp Nanowrimo which runs in the summer. This gives you an opportunity to write with others within a virtual writing group.
Of course, it’s not for everyone. Some people are content to beaver away on their own and find that the pressure of having to hit a specific word count is too much. Or some may decide that writing under pressure only results in writing that has to be entirely rewritten, making even harder work of the editing process.
These are valid concerns. I am sure that some of the words that I wrote during November will never see the light of day. But for me the pressure and the deadline helped to inspire me. I am certain without that target I would have had many days that month when I didn’t write at all. There are always so many reasons to be distracted.
If no-one else knows or cares whether you are writing, then you are only letting yourself down when the next scene or chapter just never quite gets started. Perhaps it harks back to schooldays when homework had to be in on time, or exam revision schedules that ensured I could make a sensible attempt at most of the questions. Whatever it is I know that I respond well to pressure and deadlines.
Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty self-motivated too. If I wasn’t then I would probably never have chosen to be a writer! But I’ve enjoyed being part of something that makes me feel connected. I guess that’s why there are so many writing groups out there.
In the end there is only one person who can tell your story and that’s you. But there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of support along the way…
Who do you look to to support you on your writing journey?