Monday, 8 November 2010

My two reasons for joining the NaNoWriMo 2010 competition

Have you ever decided to do something, knowing that other people would be watching or somehow become aware of the outcome? You know you’d be on the hook? Think back. Did you do it, eventually? Why? Why not?

I don’t have stats to support the percentage of people who procrastinate on a daily basis; take up challenges in public and never finish; do finish…that sort of thing. I mean, where would I find those anyway? Yahoo it? (LO real L!)

Imagine that you’ve decided to enter a marathon – doesn’t matter which or where. Maybe, say, 99% of the people don’t know you; have never heard of you; don’t care. However, your inner circle of family members, friends, relatives, you know? The people who really matter? They know! Oh my gosh! They so know. They’ve witnessed you practising and, especially if it’s for a ‘cause – have hit up their own friends to sponsor you in your venture. So, even more people know.

Well, more often than not, those within your inner circle – and a few others – will be lined up or watching on TV or linked by BBM, Twitter, FB etc. to remain tuned in to how you are doing. Or, shortly after, to find out how you’ve done.

The NaNoWriMo, which I learned about after the month of NaNoWriMo-madness had begun, is kinda like that. I’ve already told a few people in the inner circle, the 40-odd FB friends, and the 20-odd connections on Twitter. (Way too much pressure to embrace the concept of people following me. Reminds me of a saying by Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin: “There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them!”) Anyway, that’s the lot. Oh! And now you, the reader of this post.

Now, having started, I have to continue.

THE REASONS (in no particular order)
1. I rock
I try to keep in mind a few tips that the organizers wrote in their confirmation email after I signed up: “You rock for even trying!” That doesn’t give me an out; a sugar-coated pat on the back to say, “There there! It’s okay if you don’t finish in time.” No, what it says to me is that they get it. They get that writing is sometimes as easy as breathing and for the other 99% of the time, it’s as tough as a diamond. (Yes. On purpose – ‘cause I imagine the oohs and aahs when it gets done.) Someone said they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy; another, that it’s 3% talent and 97% staying away from the Internet. You get it.

2. The discipline
This venture is actually helping me hone the discipline I need to write better. So many times I’ve had to make a note to self: “You’re a writer.” True. There have durations of quiet; silence; stillness on the writing front. Nothing for the public. My best attempt at publicly keeping the consistency and regularity has been this blog. And, that was after I convinced myself that while I wouldn’t be pressured into saying just anything simply because I blog, I must have a point of view on something!

I’ve written books of poetry, short stories; a book – all unpublished. I’ll get ‘em out. Somehow. The writing I hold most dear, however, is my journal/prayer journal (it metamorphosed) spanning the last 25 years or so. Still at it; still loving it.

November 5, 2010 was my start date for my novel. The thing began on November 1, 2010. No worries. Instead of the 1600+ words recommended to make the deadline, I need to be doing more than that now to catch up. As it is (joyfully) turning out, I’m writing an average of about 2200 words per day. At that rate, I should be back on track in about 12 – 14 days. Do the math. No, serious, do the math.

3. The competition
Especially that I’m competing against myself. That’s how I put it, anyway. I just need to finish this novel. According to the rules – “Unless, I’m wrong, which, you know, I’m not” (Moooooonk!) – to finish (writing a novel of at least 50,000 words) is to win.

I like the part where they talk about shutting up your “inner editor”. He can be so noisy –and I don’t know why mine is a ‘he’. They remind us that December is for editing; just write with “wild abandon!”

Now, did I say two reasons? Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m math-challenged. As I tweeted the other day, I no longer cringe when I make those (especially obvious) mistakes. Now, I could have just gone ahead and replaced the two with three, but, where’s the fun in that? How would I have got that beauty of an opportunity to refer to my tweet? (Heh heh.)

To NaNoWriMo! To Victory! Haroo!


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