There’s one thing I want to say about NaNoWriMo, though.

The whole NaNo culture and ethos is very focused on achieving. On pushing through, getting your wordcount, being a winner. It’s like school, in a way. “This is hard, but it’s good for you.” And I’m not being a downer on The Very Concept Of NaNoWriMo, if that’s your thing then go forth! Achieve! Challenge yourself! I mean, I’m doing it too, after all. Because I’m the kind of person who needs excuses and structure to do things.

But writing every day is hard. And it’s not just hard because of distractions, because twitter is there beckoning or there’s podcasts to be caught up on. Maybe holding a pen or sitting at a desk long enough to write 1600-ish words one day puts you in too much pain to repeat the feat on day two. Maybe your brain is giving you shit and you can’t concentrate on one thing for more than a minute, or can’t possibly dredge up enough energy to create something. I’ve been there. Or maybe deadlines and  structure just make you anxious and unproductive.

And that’s cool! That’s fine. I can’t tell you how to feel, but I am here to say that in my book, even though they call people who write 50 000 words in November winners, you are not a loser if you don’t. Sometimes things that are hard are not actually good for you. And you don’t have to do them. I’m still figuring out where the line is between encouraging myself and guilting myself into over-stretching.

In fact if you’re not doing NaNo, or if you tried doing it and stopped, I’m giving you a high-five right now.


High-five, friend! I don’t know who you are, but if you’re reading my blog, the numbers indicate there is a high probability you’re extremely cool. Trust me. I’m a scientist.

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