This is supposed to be the blog entry about what I took away from participating in that thing.
So I guess I can just chalk this up as bad idea and something I will probably never do again. And I’m ok with that.
It’s not as bad as my secret hobby because my mom is on my case but she knows me irl. She is not some jerk on the internet I don’t know getting on my case about not being dedicated enough or something.
On Thanksgiving I imagined a bunch of people in the US who participated in nano writing at Thanksgiving gatherings in their computers or notebooks or whatever. Unless you are trying to cook dinner. Well I guess you could do both or try to.
I feel like I joined an eating contest and I had eaten a snack before entering and I ate some food but now I can’t eat anymore.
I worked so hard in building my writing self confidence over the past 4 years when I got it back again, so I didn’t want to destroy it for nothing. I mean I don’t feel like a complete failure or something.
Or maybe like that story The Bird the Mouse and the Sausage. If you are not familiar with that story there are a bird, a mouse, and a sausage who live together. They all have their specialized jobs they are good at. The sausage does the cooking, the mouse gathers water, and the bird collects firewood.
Another bird tells the bird to change jobs. So the mouse takes over cooking, the sausage goes out for wood, and the bird fetches the water. They change jobs and then they all die. What they had going for them before was working for them. Changing my writing method doesn’t work for me. Ok so maybe I won’t die, but using this writing method has made me more neurotic than usual and I’m pretty neurotic anyway.
So the consensus on the internet is that quantity is always better than quality. That is all that is ever said in regards to writing. But is it really? And please don’t tell me that story about the pottery. I’ve heard it so many times. Apparently this story comes from some book called Art & Fear I’ve never read this book before and I’m not sure how many people who are giving that advice actually read that book. I still don’t understand if one person who writes extremely slowly writes 200 quality and somebody who writes quickly writes 1000 words and 800 of them are garbage then they also wrote 200 words too.
I know, I know I’ve heard it all: “well you wrote x amount of words than before.” Ok, sure…
If you quietly sign up for it and don’t write a single word fine, but this is more about the people who sign up for it and make a big ruckus all over the internet and then when you look up their profile have not written a single word. There was this one lady I knew who did this but she was one of those braggy types. People like to use this event as bragging rights.
I have a hard time vomiting words. I can vomit food just fine. I hate the act of doing it. That usually ugly pink color of it. It looks like the color of those old sticky pink berry flavored Powerbars. Which looked disgusting but tasted great.
I guess one of the reasons people take on the challenge of nano is because they would have never written that novel. Of course I was not in that demographic. That they knew they could write something. Or the act of writing everyday. Building good writing habits and all that jazz. I already write everyday.
Since a bunch of things I wrote on paper counted towards my word count. I’m going to end up doing a lot of typing in December. And on top of that I have to sift through all the crap I purposely wrote to find all the usable stuff. In the litter box of writing.
So here are my badges; the purple ones you give to yourself using the honor system.
By around somewhere between day 18 and 21 I hit the wall. I tried really hard to get myself writing. I tried prompts and a bunch of other things. But I didn’t reach over 32644 words.
I think I met or exceeded the word threshold of 1667 only 5 days out of the 30. My goal was to meet 30K because I knew I could not write 50K in one month. I know I can write 50K just not in one month.
Maybe I’m not as prolific as I thought I was or I just got burned out too fast.
My worst day was the 22nd with a total of 205 words. I was so embarrassed. 😰 The reason was that this was the day before Thanksgiving. My best day was the 13th with 2399 words.
I find word counting annoying and tedious. Pro tip if you do find yourself writing on paper a lot and you like to count words for either nano or because you like it. Breakdown your counts into manageable chunks. I like to use 100 words it’s a trick I saw in an old math show. It was that old show called It Figures. Episode 21. Another problem I had was that it was trying to pad my work and not care about the quality of it. I know you are not supposed to read over it, but sometimes I had to. Especially when I’d lose my place writing, and when I was writing on paper. I would read it back to myself and think “This is awful! I can write better than this!”. It’s like when you are a kid and an adult bothers you like a parent or a teacher, and you rush something like homework or chores or something. And they tell you “(your name) you can do better than that. I expect more of you.” Then you get really embarrassed or upset or something. None of this exists in the world of nano. Spew it out harder and faster than the other guy.
I write a lot more like that lady in that article. I write pretty clean stuff that doesn’t need much “cleaning up”. More about rewriting than grammar. Writing mechanics can always be improved. Or at least I think so. I take that approach with my journaling because I like to write more about the events in a day than those vague prompts like “pizza” or “if I was a dog”. It write hard and fast trying to remember what happened that day. Other than that I don’t.
People seemed to have a competition with each other about who could write the most garbage sentence. Don’t have enough words to meet your quota? Don’t worry just write 5 paragraphs of purple prose about your character that will add more words! Like I said before a lot of the tips were just horrible. A way I got myself writing was by using quotes and those fill in the blanks from those student planners. Including a quote from Pat Riley the basketball coach. I wrote a whole paragraph about him and what he looks like and how dresses. Which will probably not come in handy unless I’m writing about retro basketball or Showtime Lakers or something.
I don’t think winning or losing this thing made me a real writer. I’m a hobbyist writer for now and a lot of people see that as being fake. I know what I need to do! Self publish! I just need to pick out an unedited manuscript to put up on amazon with a book cover that was made in paint with stick people drawings (and not used in an ironic stylistic suck way) Paying to be printed. Yay! I’m a legit writer now!
I’m also not big on all the cheerleading and the motivational speeches. If it works for you great, but I feel I usually don’t need to be motivated to write.
I really just wanted to drink the kool-aid and like or pretend I did. People get so angry when people dismiss nano. Like speaking against it is a sin. You are not allowed to speak ill of nano ever! Even if you don’t like or agree with the methods it uses. It builds real writers. #writers #iamwriting #writersoftheinternet #writerswhoblog #realwriters #onlywriteonemonthoftheyear #writer #author #writerslife #authorslife
Here is my 2017 nanowirmon.
I really thought the website was going to go down like people said, but it didn’t for me.
Now I can look at my script for class.