Final Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s been a few days since the end of this year’s National Novel Writing Month event. I’m happy I participated, and very satisfied at having reached the goal of 50K words. Chapters six and seven of “Gray Metal Faces” have been completely revised, and the first draft of chapter eight has begun; honestly, I don’t think I would have accomplished so much if I hadn’t been trying to “win” NaNoWriMo.

But I’m not happy with those last few days in November. Getting those final few thousand words was difficult, and while I got the job done, I certainly didn’t enjoy myself. Writing shouldn’t always be easy, and I’m definitely not afraid of the work; however, during those last few days in November I was writing because I had to, not because I wanted to. Working on the novel became just another obligation, and I approached those final blog entries with all the enthusiasm of a dental appointment.

That’s not a feeling I want to experience again, and makes me wonder if I’ll participate in next year’s NaNoWriMo. Yeah, there’s a real good chance that I could end next November with a complete draft of the entire novel, which would be completely awesome. But to have that empty, joyless feeling — I’m not sure any accomplishment would be worth that.

So yes, I’m happy to have participated in this year’s NaNoWriMo, but whether I take part in next year’s event is an open question.

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2 thoughts on “Final Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2016

  1. Hi I know I don’t fully understand what this writing challenge was all about. I know it must have entailed a lot of discipline etc BUT personally (know I probably have no right to comment) I could not continue to write unless I actually get pleasure from the craft. I believe it is a GIFT and while I may quietly fade away and the bulk of what I have written may never even have been read I can honestly say it has and is enriching my journey of life. I hope that folks will be encouraged and enjoy what I have written but truth to tell nothing changes….I write because I write. and the enjoyment on the way is the bonus. Hope you find when you revisit all your hard work you will see in the revision the real worth and perhaps come to really ENJOY the journey. I couldn’t do it….it would creatively kill me if I had to goal a number of words. I much prefer it someone gives me a starter word, sentence, image, smell, colour or feeling and tells me to write with that as the impetus. That’s when I really can be inspired. Hope you have a peaceful and pleasant few days. Cheers!

    • When viewed as expression then yes, writing should always be enjoyable. But writing for me is also about communication. You can write what’s on your mind and that’s all well and good, but what if nobody reads what you say? And if they read, do they understand? And if they understand, do they care? It’s answering those questions that make writing a chore — a chore I enjoy, but a chore nonetheless.

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