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Author Laura Lis Scott's offset thinking.

NaNoWriMo, without grades

No, I did not reach the 50,000-word floor that NaNoWriMo puts out there as a goal for sprint-writing in November. I didn't come close. (4,286 is the count, to be exact.) But I don't care, for two reasons:

  1. I spent much of my writing time editing the manuscript of someone else's novelette. (More on that soon.)
  2. Writing is about process, not about distance.

I embraced the NaNoWriMo endeavor not so much to see if I have the right stuff to blast out 50k words in 30 days. I know I can do that. I've done it before, blogging, writing screenplays, writing short stories. I can be pretty long-winded on the keyboard, despite my best intentions.

No, I NaNoed simply to jump-start the process.

I have a day job that's pretty all-engrossing. It demands my attention all my waking hours, and not a few of my sleeping hours as well. I needed an occasion to give myself permission to get back into writing. This was it.

And it worked, such as it is. I have a concept, a very very rough outline, a main character I'm kind of liking, and a few scenes. Enough to hang onto. Enough to build upon.

People flog themselves over NaNoWriMo. So many who don't reach 50,000 words call the endeavor a failure. "I tried NaNoWriMo and failed!" What crap. This isn't grade school. This is life. This is craft. This is something you do, not something you achieve.

Are you writing? Guess what. That's not failing.