NaNoWriMo and “Cheating”

First off, let me try and explain why I participate in NaNoWriMo.

I am terrible at motivating myself to write. Terrible. I love to do it, and yet I find myself forgetting to write every day. Whether it’s a story, an article, a blog post. Whatever. I just want to write every day.

That’s what NaNo does for me. I commit myself to writing at least 1,667 words every day to reach the goal. At the end of the month, at least last year, I had a pretty decent story started that might need some major editing, but it has an ending. I’ve never really ended a story before. I was very proud.

After NaNo last year, I continued writing daily. For a while. It tapered off. But I was writing.

That’s what I’m hoping for again this year. A second story with an ending, and getting back into that routine of daily writing.

To me, that will be a successful NaNo.

Moving on…

I get that a lot of people put a lot of preparations into NaNo. They do outlines and character sketches. Maybe map out scenes.

Good for them.

I know some people started a little early in October because they knew they wouldn’t have a lot of time in November to write.

Good for them. As long as they are writing.

So why does it bother me so much that we are 3 days into November and people have logged a word count of 50K?

Part of it, okay, is jealousy. Gosh. I wish I had the time to commit to writing like that. (Or maybe I don’t. These people may be involuntarily unemployed. I don’t know.)

But another part of it, is that I just don’t understand why they are even participating in NaNoWriMo.

If you have the obvious motivation to write 50K in 3 days (supposedly), then why sign up and wait until November? Why not write it any other time of the year?

If you have a story that you want to tell, just write it.

I mean, sure, the same could be said to me. Why challenge myself only in November? Why not put the challenge to myself every month?

I should. Really. I’m trying. I’m just using this November for some outside motivation. It’s fun and (kind of) social and seeing everyone’s word counts increasing and all the cheerleading people are doing for each other is amazing.

I just don’t understand everyone’s purpose for participating in NaNo. And until I do, I will never understand those people who have written 50K in 3 days.

(The pessimist in me is just thinking, “yeah, but how many of those words are even worth anything?”)

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