Pep Talk - 2007 - Week 3

So I end up thinking about a lot of different things during the week before I go to write a pep talk. Some of it ends up in here, while others (like the story of me, the anaconda and the cauliflower) just don't make the cut. Inbetween trying to find some motivation to write and being absolutely disgusted with my artistic ability, one of those things was that of donations.

Now, this year in Nano, I was currently between jobs (a situation which will hopefully be rectified Monday if there's ANY sort of god that doesn't hate me) and it just wasn't an option financially. Well, to cut a long story short (the antithesis of JanNo, I know!) one thing led to another, and I said, "hey, let's donate a dollar to Nano for every JanNo writer that makes their goal!" It seemed like a pretty nifty idea; last year, there were about 100 participants signed up and 16 that made it. With that proportion, we could easily have fifty winners. 50 seemed like a nice round number (like the 50 of 50K!) and the train of thought continued to "If we can get that number of winners, let's throw in an additional dollar for everyone that won last year!"

So just think of it as a sponsorship for all of you. I hope this helps as a bit of inspiration and motivation to help get everyone across the finish line. There will be a winner's list sent with the check, and since we have a digital camera around the house, there will be pictures :D

Now, onto helping all y'all get to that finish line. :) Week Two, I'll say, has been one rough bucking bronco. We've seen some people forced to drop, and we've seen a few impatiently waiting on me to finish the winner's certs. *ducks head in shame* Some are ahead, some are at even quota, and some are behind. Of course, the latter is who this pep talk is really for. So let's go over a few things.

1. Being behind is not the end. Seriously, it's not. Yes, it is a bit tougher to come from behind, especially if you haven't been able to make a daily quota. Yes, now your self-discipline is going to come in even more than before as you sit down and force yourself to write no matter how horrid or painful it is. However, just because you're behind doesn't mean you can't catch up. There's a weekend going on now and, what, two more coming up? Excellent opportunities to sit down and catch up; there's a lovely multi-person challenge going on in Plot and Prose you can jump in on and I'm sure there will be others on the other weekends.

Of course, you're not limited to writing on weekends. In fact, you can write ANYWHERE. Start by getting yourself a little notebook, or heck, even a standard stolen-from-the-hotel notepad (complete with stolen-from-the-hotel pen) will do. Every time you get some time waiting or whatever, write something. It does add up. In addition, I found that whenever I wrote something longhand, when I went to type up that section, I always added in more words. (I plan to do this while waiting for my interview Monday.)

2. Being behind is not something to be upset over. Continuing on the line of it's not the end, how many times have we seen Chris Baty come from behind out of nowhere to win year after year? This year, I recall seeing someone on the Nano boards who was behind 35,000 words and made all that up on the very last day. Not only is it not impossible, not only can YOU do it, but how we all love to see the stories of coming from behind, and people are going to cheer their asses off when you do it. Because you're awesome.

3. Being behind doesn't mean you have to catch up again right away. You've still got half a month ahead of you to get to that goal. Don't stress about making those huge goals back right away. Lyeshea had an excellent suggestion in IHMAWTD, which I'm going to quote: "You can just up your daily word count by a little bit, so if you're 3226 words behind you can just spread that out over the remaining twenty days. so you'd have to write an extra 161 or 162 words a day for the rest of the month... which isn't that much."

4. Being behind is still better than quitting. No matter what else pops up, whatever things and distractions pop up to take away from your writing time, keep writing and moving for that goal. Every word you write past that point where you thought about giving up, it's a word you wouldn't have had otherwise, and those words will add up by the time we get to the end of the month. In the end, whether you've made your goal or not, if you kept writing for the full 31 days, that's something to be highly respected.

Wrimos have sometimes been compared to a marathon, and in many ways they are alike. It's long and grueling, and a lot of people drop out for whatever reason. But those that cross the finish line are still cheered and respected even if they weren't with the frontrunners. There's also something fine to be said for those that are sticking with their high goals even if it looks improbable (I never say impossible about JanNo) at the moment. Which leads me to my last point...

5. It's not supposed to be easy, or comfortable. It's really not easy to go for those high goals, but if it was easy, would it be any fun? :D Jonjo has a great quote in their sig which I drew on a bit last week: "If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone." JanNo is most certainly not comfortable. It's a stretch, even for those of us that have done WriMos before, and it never stops being a challenge. Flex those writing muscles! If you're comfortable, stretch harder! Safaia dared us all with "the mother of all dares": double your word goal. Get uncomfortable. Panic a little. Rant and moan in IHMAWTD. It sounds like complaining, but it's really growth! Honest!

To be honest, JanNo itself has grown a lot since last year, and I don't mean in participant numbers (although it's done that too.) A lot of hard questions have been thrown at me this year, and there are times when I flail, scream and panic over whatever's come up over the day, be it rule questions, board problems, or yet ANOTHER email domain I've got to ban for being a spambot ("Please do not delete. I need the money." was the latest, which prompted a vindictive scream of "GET A JOB, LOSER" as I deleted the post with extreme prejudice.) And just like writing a novel, it's been an uncomfortable stretch, but in the end I think it'll be worth it.

How about y'all?