This week there have been plenty of posts on Nanowrimo (try saying that seven times fast without giggling like crazy); posts about how to make the most of it, posts on updates of those doing Nanowrimo, posts by those violently opposed to the idea.
For those who don’t know what Nanowrimo is, it is National Novel Writing Month and the links in the names up there will take you to the official site and official explanation which sums it up nicely. So if you don’t know what it is, go take a peek and then come back here.
First, the confession: I’ve tried Nanowrimo once, and failed miserably. I discovered painfully, it’s not something that I can do, and this year I decided this year to skip it entirely. The qualifier to this, is that I never publicly posted my stats, nor did I go through the website. I had a friend who was “nano”ing and kept badgering me to join her. She made it sound exciting, targeted, and easy. So, I jumped in with both feet (or at least, a word processor). It was probably the most traumatic and least fun I have ever had writing. I still think it’s a good idea, but it’s definitely tweaked towards one type of writer.
That being said, the idea if Nanowrimo is an interesting one and I’ve noticed some interesting effects of it on the Scribes I know, both pro and con. Here’s what I’ve observed:
The pace (50,000 words in 30 days) is not for the faint of heart. Those used to writing at least 500 words a day are the ones that are drawn to this contest. They also tend to be people who are gregarious, outgoing, and aggressive. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of writer, in fact I would not be surprised to find out that they are the ones who make a career of writing. They aren’t the only kind of writer however, and I think it’s interesting to note that the contemplative and introverted writers among my friends are almost all avoiding Nanowrimo.
The reasoning is simple; introverts tend to not want to share their writing and easily get lost in their own worlds. They don’t really care if any one else knows what’s going on them or not. It’s their world, and they’re not over eager to share. The amount of interaction on the Nanowrimo boards and the posting of work to prove word count as a general rule, wouldn’t appeal to them. They are more interested in working alone, than joining a group.
Nanowrimo has decisively divided my writer friends in another way as well.
Those who are participating are actively encouraging one another through social media; posting word counts, bantering with one another, and sharing their passion for story telling. Those who aren’t Nanoing, are no-so-quietly grumbling about those who are. That surprised me a few days ago. Now, however, I can see why. My status feeds are clogged with notifications that make me feel very much left out.
There is an ” us versus them” mentality that has taken over, and while it shocked me how quickly it happened, I can’t be totally surprised by it.
What I’m working on doing in my own little sphere, is pulling the two fractured mini-groups back into one cohesive ball of brilliance.
While Nanowrimo does a fantastic job at keeping those participating in it fired up and encouraged, it has become an irritant to those who aren’t. More on that later in the week as I share some of the techniques I’ve found that help bring the polarized groups closer to where they were before the beginning of November.
For now let me know if you are or aren’t participating in Nanowrimo.
If so, how is it going? If you aren’t, what is your biggest complaint about Nanowrimo?