Since NaNoWriMo ended, I’ve been running a few tweets each day in my stream to help drum up some awareness and interest in A Round of Words in 80 Days. My tagline for the challenge is The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life, which I felt was pretty accurate as a description since that’s one of the number one criticisms leveled at NaNo.
Apparently this offends some people who did NaNo and still managed to have a life. They simply organized it around the writing.
To them I raise a toast and say congratulations on your accomplishment. It is truly an impressive feat. I say that with all sincerity.
Please know that I have no intention of offending anyone with my tagline. There is not a sub-tagline there that implies that all people who do NaNo can’t possibly have a life. But it is a fact of life that the majority of people who start NaNo fail at it because they do. Also know that saying that you simply organized your life around the writing is offensive to the rest of us, as it implies that we don’t.
Here’s the thing, you superpeople: I’m betting that most of you don’t work multiple jobs. You’re probably not married. You probably don’t have kids. You probably don’t work 60 hour work weeks. The rest of us who really feel like NaNo discriminates against those of us with a life do have one or all of these things. There are certain segments of life that cannot be organized or rearranged. That doesn’t mean that we are in any way lazy or incapable of being organized.
Read my blog for a week. I routinely get astonished comments from readers about my freak organizational and juggling skills for everything that I do. Yet your offended comment offends me. Because I am a busy woman and I DO make writing a priority every single day. I just do not have the leisure to produce at the rate that NaNo mandates. Because all those non-negotiable, non-organizable aspects of life gets in the way.
THAT is why I started A Round of Words in 80 Days. For everybody who is like me, for whom NaNo is not a challenge that fits our lifestyle, who wants a challenge at which we can succeed and feel good about ourselves rather than lock ourselves into an endless loop of self-flagellation and failure because that goal isn’t reasonable.
NaNo very clearly professes that it expects you to check out of life and ignore things for a month to put the book first. That is totally fine, but it doesn’t work for a lot of people. I’m not the first to say so, and I won’t be the last. If it works for you and you can participate at that level without blowing off some or all of your personal responsibilities, that’s fantastic. But know that you’re in the minority.
For the rest of you, the first Round of Words begins January 3rd. Join us!