Nobody Expects you to Win

Apparently, I suck at technology. I spent most of this week at my boyfriend’s house, where the internet decided that the second last week of November is a GREAT time to stop working. When I sucked it up and went to a cafe with wireless–where there also happened to be a Nanowrimo event–and attempted to create a post on Wednesday, it didn’t go through and ended up in drafts.

So, this will hopefully be my last attempt(read: I hope this works) at posting this wonderful little thing I wrote up. Here goes nothing.

November has gone past in a blur of too much caffeine, too little sleep and a race of words. It’s the twenty-fifth now and many of us Nano novelists are feeling burnt out, uninspired or behind. People are giving up. They say they’ve only written ten thousand words or maybe only two thousand words, there’s no way they’re going to make it, and they put down their pens. They put themselves down for falling behind and choose to walk away. Their novels never get out.

But do you know what the great thing about Nanowrimo is? Well, the great thing about Nanowrimo is that nobody expects you to win. Nobody, not even me with my insanely high word count, is going to shun you for falling short of 50, 000 words. Everyone knows that it’s hard to write a book in a month. Even most Nanowrimo veterans have missed a year or two. You are a winner just for trying to write a book in a month.

The important part is really that you keep trying. That no matter how far behind you fall, you keep writing, keep working on your novel. Even if you can’t write a book in a month, you can write a book in a few months or maybe a couple years. Don’t put down your pen, don’t tell yourself you can’t write a novel: accept that for you, novel writing might be a slower process. We all approach the writing process differently.

So if you’re ahead, congratulations. If you’re right on track, congratulations. And if you’re behind, congratulations for sticking with it and trying so hard. Now, get back to writing!

2 thoughts on “Nobody Expects you to Win

  • Thanks for this post! I was beating myself up for a few days about not making “enough” progress. Then, I had to shake it off. I’m not a fast writer, at least not yet. (Who knows with practice, right!) I’ve written much more than I did last NaNo, and I can see my growth as writer. Decided to focus on that. And your words of wisdom totally align with that sentiment. Back to writing.

    • Hi Yolanda,

      This post was inspired by my grandmother, who is definitely supergrandma instead of supermom, and who bravely started her novel at the beginning of this month and has been upset because she fell behind. As somebody who works full time and babysits almost full time, I think her 20, 000 words is something to be very proud of. The hard part is convincing her of that.

      We’re all different. We get different word counts and different things out of November. Sometimes, it’s more important that you’re writing well than that you’re hitting high word counts, and while every November I aim for a lofty goal, during the rest of the year I’ve come to realize word count goals don’t work for me.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and that you’ve stopped beating yourself up. Every word you’ve written is one word you wouldn’t have written otherwise and it’s totally worth it. There’s no need to beat yourself up if you don’t win as long as you tried. And for some people, trying might only mean 10, 000 words. For others it means 300, 000 words. And that’s okay, because there are as many ways to write a book as there are writers to write them.

      Thanks for stopping by,

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