Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eight thoughts on Nanowrimo, 2011

I've been doing Nanowrimo for three years now, and although that's not exactly the longest time in the world, I think I can safely say that I'm pretty well aware of my own patterns over the course of November.

For one, I always begin the month with a fabulous, ambitious, glowing idea of what it is I'm going to accomplish. I have dreams, hopes, aspirations! I imagine myself churning out the most amazing novel that's ever been written. I imagine writing a brilliant novel that is not only enjoyable to read but intellectually stimulating as well; my own personal treatise, arguing for whatever it is that has caught me up this year.

By the end of the month I'm sitting bleary-eyed before my computer screen, making up random collections of words in order to claim that final prize - the little purple bar above my username that proclaims WINNER! Gone are the dreams of literary brilliance, of masterful thematic exploration and in-depth analysis of modern society. Instead, I just want to quietly hobble over the finish line and sit in the corner mumbling softly to myself, massaging the fingers that are still sore from typing those last 10 000 words.

And yet I return year after year. I'm not going to spend time wondering why I do this - I guess it's just who I am.

But I do want to spend a few moments pondering what it is I've learned from this year's Nanowrimo experience. So here it is, a brief look at some of the things I've learnt about myself and about writing in general, all in one month: