I love Nanowrimo. My intro blog has some context about why I love Nanowrimo and what it has done for me. With the close of the April 2015 Camp, I feel a set of mixed feelings.
First, the Good.
I did it. I’m a winner. I set a target; I hit my target. How many people can say that? I managed to chew through 50,000 words in a month. Are they all words I’m proud of? NOPE. But, I got through it. Those last 2,000, I really was stretching to fill the count, but I managed to get through them all the same. Ironically, if I had just kept right on doing my thing normally, I’d have hit the word count a couple of days later just fine. The strange word dance I performed on the evening of being able to turn in only gave me a bigger headache later, and didn’t ultimately impact my ability to win.
Second, I got to talk to lots of people who were working on their own books. People from all over the world participate, and you get to maintain a chat room with them while you work and get to pep talk them and be pep talked by them as you write. It was great to see the kinds of challenges they face, and how like my own challenges they are.
And third, my momentum is still positive. Even after a losing a little ground cleaning up some of the tricks I used to give myself a few more words, I’m back positive again and closing in on 60,000. I really feel like I can finish this work, and I owe that to Nanowrimo.
Now, the Bad.
I look back on the experience and really wonder what’s wrong with me that I couldn’t generate this kind of momentum on my own. It’s nice to talk to these people, but if I’m fair I know nothing about their stories other than one of my camp mates having to kill a character. I know nothing about them as people other than one of them having to bow out of the race for school.
I hoped to build lasting relationships, or a secret author circle of ninjas that I can leverage when my muse bails from the car or the writer’s block gets too thick. I think it’s highly likely I won’t stay in touch with any of them after this… And that’s unfortunate.
Also, as great as the push was, I get no feedback on what I’ve written. I have no idea if I’m any closer to publication than I was when this began. If you give an infinite number of monkeys and infinite number of typewriters, you can get the complete works of William Shakespeare. That said, there is (infinity – 1) count of complete junk. Am I writing junk or the complete works of William Shakespeare (hopefully not junk, but certainly not Shakespeare)?
I guess the next stop on my writer’s race is to a critiquing contest. Know any good ones?
Did you participate in Nanowrimo? How did you do?