Here we go, it’s Nano time again. Well kind of. Is a Nano not in November still a Nano?
There doesn’t seem to be as much hype around Camp Nanos as the November event. I don’t know if this is a sign that Nano itself is falling out of popularity or just that people don’t consider it a real Nano unless the word count is set for you beforehand. Whatever the reason, I’m a little concerned that the lack of Internet hype will translate to a lack of pressure to finish.
I’m in a cabin with my two best friends: my fiance and my long-time friend Laurie. Fiance, Graham, is aiming for 30k. Laurie is aiming for 20k. I’m the idiot in the corner still aiming for 50k.
So, my one concern is that I won’t be motivated by the internet, another is that I will not be motivated by my “competition” (who will likely finish long before me) and thirdly…
I have done Nano long enough to know the ways I tend to procrastinate. I thought I would be proactive this time around and do those in the week leading up to Nano.
– Make Nano calendar! Done
– Draw character! Done
– Research the tech of the world! Done.
– Plot the entire novel out in broad sections! Done
– Make a Pinterest board for the story! Done.
– Make a YouTube playlist for the story! Done.
Seriously, the only thing left to do is to role DND character sheets for the characters. (Not even sure if this is even a good idea, it just sounds fun).
The problem is, as all veteran Nanoers know, the first week is always the one where you’re riding the enthusiasm. The second week is when you start questioning yourself, your motivation, your story, your talent and life itself. Commonly known as being “Week Twoed”. It’s the treacherous week when giving up is most likely.
With all my pre-Nano prep, have I now turned Week One into Week Two? In other words, have I managed to Week Two myself before I’ve even started writing? If so, this attempt might be more disastrous than my first year (when I got two paragraphs in).
The truth is, whatever my reservations, I need Nano.
When I tell people about Nano, a lot of the time the first thing they do is tell me all the other things they’re busy with or stressed about that won’t allow for the writing of 1,667 words a day.
What I’ve realised though is that the more stressful or scary real life is, the more reason there is for me to attempt Nano. The years I’ve finished haven’t been the years when my day-to-day life is fun and eventful, it’s when I’m facing the daunting prospect of moving to a new city, battling to adjust to an ill-suited job, worried about a relationship or money or the big existential questions. It’s when I’m over-worked and frazzled and afraid that I find the most solace in the NaNoWriMo challenge.
It’s a license to get lost in a world of fiction at a time when you’d rather not be in the real world.
And at the end of it, you have something to show for it. Which is more than I can say for my other escapes (like playing The Sims).
That something doesn’t have to be any good. It doesn’t even have to be seen by anyone else. It’s not about being published or praised. It’s about exploring and creating and experiencing. And maybe at the end of it – quite possibly – you’ll have a first draft of something that might one day be good.
The publishers and “real authors” might hate it, and perhaps it is falling out of fashion, but I continue to love Nano. And when April is done, successful or not, I’ll begin counting down the days to November.
Happy NaNoWriMo everyone.
You can find me on the Camp Nano site: tally1302