It’s the most and least wonderful time of the year!

We are just a couple of weeks away from November 1, a special date for writers. We all know it, NaNoWriMo, day One, the First Day of Promise. Where you KNOW, you can knock out those 50,000 winning words in 31 days. But from its beginnings way back in the dark ages of 1999, the stats on winning are pretty dismal, from a high in 1999 (with 21 participants) of 29% winners to a low in 2012 of 11%  winners. Many of the participants, like me, are repeat offenders, bellying up to the NaNoBar every year, and many of those have never won or like me, only won once.

But does winning or losing matter? I honestly don’t think so because the benefits of participating far outweigh winning NaNo (completing 50,000 words in 31 days). I’m not talking about the event’s amazing outreach to writers and potential writers across the world, even though that is important. I’m talking about the personal gains that you get from participating in this event. Or specifically, the benefits I have received from my participation. So when I’m asked why I do NaNo every year (since 2009) even though I only one once; I have a list. Of course, I do. 

1) I rededicate myself to writing.

The past few years for me have been tough. My writing has nearly slipped away from me. But each year no matter how crappy I have felt I wrote every day for a month. It may have only been a few words and not good ones at that, but I did it. And that helped get me through some pretty rough days.

2) I feel a part of the greater community of writers.

Seems odd, since I am very much a part of the wonderful community here at SavvyAuthors. But knowing there are thousands of people just like me out there beavering away to grind out 1,667 words every night gives me a bit of community. Like I am part of something bigger than me and that words matter to a lot of people, not just me.

3) I have another chance to learn a good habit.

It takes 66 days to cement a good habit. Yes, this is an update of the old 21-day rule. Darn those scientists, anyway.  Maybe we should make NaNo two months? In any event, I am 31 days closer to instilling a daily writing habit. If I can keep up the daily writing through December, then I might have made a life-long habit.  Go Me!

4) What a fabulous crutch to get through the Holidays!

I’m a grinch. I cannot stand Christmas, and Thanksgiving is fraught with land mines. Honestly, if I never cook another turkey dinner, it will be totally fine with me. I would prefer to spend my Christmas on the shores of some tropical island, complete with Cabana boys.  My NaNo commitment allows me to happily exit into my introvert’s lair and hide behind my monitor. “Ahhh, sorry! I’ll have to miss that amazeballs crafty party where we make wreaths out of 80’s era scrunchies. Gotta write!” Wheeee!

5) I might write a book that is good enough to edit and sell.

Who knows! It could happen!  And what an amazing holiday gift that would be, eh?

Pink Owl

Leslie DowLeslie is:

  1. The site director and owner of where she sits behind the curtain most days turning interweb knobs and twisting network dials.
  2. A complete and total slacker-writer who, if she does not get off her laurels and WRITE, is going to be flayed by the very talented writers who keep SavvyAuthors going.
  3. A rabid hiker who, when not on the trail, pours over the REI catalog, Sierra Trading Post website, and tries to justify buying more gear to shave another 1/2 ounce off her base pack weight.
  4. A medical device consultant who, when not hiking or thinking about hiking, occasionally works helping companies bring exceptionally cool and useful medical devices to market.
  5. An enthusiastic grandmother of the two cutest babies on the planet!!!!

OK, I’m out..time to sort the latest crisis is to afflict SavvyAuthors  

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