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Thoughts On NaNoWriMo 2022

So, I'm going to talk about writing today. I know it's not something that everyone is interested in, so I'll just keep my thoughts constrained to a blog post instead of making a video about it.

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2012. It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years, but it has. It is one of the events that I look forward to every year. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, though I think that it has become international at this point. The goal is to write 50,000 words during November. This is the average size of a small novel.

As someone who writes for a living (though I mostly edit now, I suppose), I can tell you that 50,000 words of fiction is much harder to write than 50,000 words of non-fiction. Something about it being made up just makes it more difficult, more taxing.

I've only ever won NaNo twice (you win if you get to 50K). I won this year for the second time.

I always start off the month of November gung ho, with grand plans to torture my characters into submission. Some years, I do better than others. For example, there was a three-year span where I only wrote about 5k words the entire month because I kept changing my ideas. I'm mostly a pantser (someone who doesn't plan their stories but just writes it as it comes), which means that often if I try a story and it turns out to be a horrible idea, then I move on to another one. Some years, I try several ideas.

In other years, I get about halfway through the goal, and then I just burn out. These are the years, usually, where I will write like 10k in the first day or two and then it just peters off until I abandon NaNo for that year.

The point is, I know many people kind of scoff at the idea of NaNoWriMo. They don't understand or have no interest in it. I get that. I have no delusions about any of my work ever getting published (in fact, since I mostly write fanfiction, I know it won't get professionally published). Some people go into NaNo with the goal of writing something that will make them famous. Not me. I write for fun. Some years, when the words are flowing (like this year), it's amazing fun to take a story from a seed of an idea to something large and glorious. Others, when you're struggling to even put 10 words down on the page, can seem like torture.

I write something non-work related every single day, but my biggest month is always November. I like to write, it is something I've enjoyed since I was in middle school and wrote a 100-page novella about the President of the United States and his dating woes (I was in eighth grade with all the problems eighth-graders have with girls, so of course, my main character, the most powerful man in the world, had the same teenage angst-ridden moments, the horror). Boy, was my 8th Grade English teacher shocked when she got that paper (it was supposed to be 10 pages worth of fiction).

There is something about writing for pleasure that just brings out the best in me. I don't know if I'm even any good at it, but I don't care. It's fun and it makes me feel better about everything else that goes on in my life. I think it's that way for most people who have hobbies. They're escapes from the mundane tragedies of life. How poetic, Matt. Mundane tragedies. Sounds like a Guns N Roses album title.

Meandered there a bit, didn't I? LOL.

Anyhoo, NaNoWriMo is now ever. I got to 50k this year, and I'm quite happy with what I wrote, though it's an epic story and is nowhere near finished. But it was very fun and I am already looking forward to next year. (I may do Camp NaNo in April, that's an event where the goal is 25k). Should be fun. It almost always is.

Hope everyone has a great week. If you're reading this on the blog, you can get these posts along with the occasional video earl by supporting me on Patreon.