An inevitable part of NaNoWriMo is the naysayers. The best thing to do is pretend they don’t exist, but we writers are sensitive souls, and sometimes it can get to us. In this post, NaNoWriMo participant Nicole Luttrell gives her thoughts on writing in spite of negativity:
You’re all ready to participate in Nanowrimo. Maybe it’s your first time, maybe you’re a veteran. Whichever point you’re at, you are stoked. You are so excited for a month of word nerd sister and brotherhood, of putting your writing first. Of getting your novel done! Or at least 50,000 words of it done. I mean, if you write fantasy or something else pretty long then you might still have some work to do.
But that’s not the point here.
The point is that, invariably, there will be people in your life who do not, cannot understand Nanowrimo.
And because they cannot understand it, you’re likely to get a lot of this.
“What are you doing?”
“Why are you letting someone else set these arbitrary deadlines?”
“You’re never going to finish it.”
“You’re wasting your time.”
“You’re never going to do anything with it.”
“Do you know the odds of getting published? You’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery.”
I know that this is what you’ll hear because I’ve heard it all. Especially the first year I participated. Most people were super supportive. But there were a few who just couldn’t let me be. They pestered me, harassed me, and made me feel guilty for participating. And thank God, I didn’t listen.
It’s always the same sort of person, at least for me. It’s a well-meaning friend. It’s the intrusive relative that thinks you need to grow up and focus on the real world.
The worst offender, though, is the one who reminds you how full your plate is. You have classwork, kids, a full-time job, a house to keep in order, a relative who just had hip surgery. You’re already hustling, already tired, already doing so much! What are you doing adding more on top of things? This is particularly nefarious because it sounds uncomfortably like the little voice in your own head, the one telling you to forget it and catch up on Stranger Things instead.
Forget that. No one’s opinion is going to pay your bills. It sure isn’t going to help you reach your dreams either.
I want you to understand something, especially if you’re a brand new writer. Yes, writing a book is hard. It’s a long, long road. Whether you self publish or seek traditional publishing, it’s a lot of long nights, getting up early to write. And here’s the really bad part. You can be a great writer, and you can try your absolute best. And you still might not get published. But you have zero chance, absolutely none at all, if you don’t finish your novel. And yeah, the odds are against you, the competition is fierce.
But trying and failing beats never trying every time. So don’t listen to the people who tell you that you can’t do this, that you’re wasting your time. Look, I’m assuming that you’re here because you love to write. And if you love how you’re spending your time then it is never a waste.
Nicole is a speculative fiction writer. That means she writes about dragons, ghosts and spaceships. Sometimes she writes about the ghosts of dragons and spaceships. She’s the author behind Station 86 and Woven. Follow along with her adventures and reviews of all things geeky at Paper Beats World.
Check out her books:
Broken Patterns on Amazon
Seeming on Smashwords
Top image licensed under Creative Commons from Adam on Flickr.