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Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

NanoWrimo day 15&16 – looking at the selfish aspect

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NanoWrimo day 15&16 – looking at the selfish aspect

Nov 16, 2009 | Nanowrimo, The Art of...., Writing | 1 comment

NaNoWriMo: the niche

Image by mpclemens via Flickr

One of the biggies that I keep hearing from the people I ML from, especially in private, about how to cope with the whole ‘selfish’ aspect of the Nanowrimo.
It got me thinking about how writers are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, and how that, in turn impacts on how we present ourselves.

The Nanowrimo is about  being brazen about your writing – to say ‘to hell with it, TV repeats, I’ve only got NOW to write’.  People, who aren’t in the habit of writing daily, learn to apply thier butt to the seat.  Those who work and can’t write, but dream of it , get access to a chance to spend the time writing.

And then there’s people like me.  I write for no reason other than I can.  I’d love to make money from it, and have tried in various ways, but it’s something, I think, that I’ve held back from because of a fear of success.  And people might laugh, because it’s a silly fear in some ways, and though I will quite happily lay my soul bare in public, and I am a very public person, but public in my own, controlled way.

There’s a slightly selfish aspect of the NanoWrimo though – that comes up in conversation several times a week in IM and other places.  Selfish isn’t the right word though – and there’s a myriad of the them that come up, selfish, indulgent, spoiling myself, needing family support, taking family time.  It’s not actually the accurate terminology though.  We are doing it for ourselves, but there’s nothing to say that it’s inherently ‘selfish’.  It’s self oriented, but that doesn’t make it selfish.

The thing about writing is that it’s *usually* a lone process.  Lots of other people *are* of course writing when you are, but the NanoWrimo harnesses everything and puts us all in the same place and going through the same process.  Still not selfish.  It’s not selfish because that thought is what keeps us from actually accepting that we can write, and still be a good parent, and keep up with freinds and everything else we do.  We’re not super-people, but writing *can* come higher on our priority lists, without being a bad thing.  And I think that the NanoWrimo kinda highlights that.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about how to balance losing a 12th of your working year without feeling selfish – and what to do if your wildest dreams come true.

Wordcount update – 41k approx!

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