I started participating in NaNoWriMo in 2014 because of a dare. Someone was planning to try the 50,000 words in a month challenge and dared me to participate. I didn’t think the word count was achievable, but I also thought I had nothing to lose if I tried. I barely made it over the finish line that first year. I have participated ever since. I’ve learned several important lessons during the nine years since joining the battle for words in November. Some of them apply only to me, but there are several that a fellow writer might take and run with. A good place to start is at the beginning of what I learned from participating in NaNoWriMo #4.
What I Learned from Participating in NaNoWriMo #4
As a rule, I don’t do cheesy. I don’t enjoy stuff that appears overproduced and is done to create some form of phony emotional response. When I feel someone is trying to get me to climb on a bandwagon, I find myself running in the opposite direction. But some somethings are cool despite their chesty factor. Mardis Gras beads are a perfect example. Some conditions contribute to the coolness factor. They must be thrown from a float traveling down a street in New Orleans to be considered cool. Bonus points are added if they are sewn into the costume of one of the New Orleans city Indians when they march on St Joseph’s Day. Those are the coolest beads of all.
NaNoWriMo holds that coolness attraction for me. All those badges you earn for reaching goals during November might look like glorified Girl Scout patches, but it still feels good when you earn one. The whole concept would be laughable if it didn’t light a creative fuse in people. I don’t generally participate in projects like NaNoWriMo, but I am drawn back yearly to the quest for 50,000 less than perfect words. It’s a cheesy, cool thing to do, like yelling in the crowd for beads to be tossed from a passing float filled with creative fun.
Maybe you don’t do cheesy cool.
Okay, I respect that. You do you, and I’ll do me. You don’t have to wait for NaNoWriMo to roll around. Sit down at your computer today, or wait until January and start the new year writing. Laissez bon temps rouler. It’s all good.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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I started participating in NaNoWriMo in 2014 because of a dare. Someone was planning to try the 50,000 words in a month challenge and dared me to participate. I didn’t think the word count was achievable, but I also thought I had nothing to lose if I tried. I barely made it over the finish…