It has been a week to the day since NaNoWrimo ended and in that time I have taken some well deserved R&R, decorated the house for Christmas and even wrote a short story all while pondering what my first experience as a NaNoWrimo participant meant to me as a writer.
My first thought was since I didn’t achieve the official NaNoWrimo 50K winner’s pin I am a loser. Wanting to be sure I deserved that label I opened up my trusty writer tool and looked up the definition of loser. Loser: Somebody who has not won a specific contest, somebody adversely affected by a situation or somebody who is unsuccessful or unlucky and seems destined to fail repeatedly. Now since I am someone who did not win a specific contest well then I would have to agree I am a loser, but do I deserve to be labeled as a loser when it comes to being a writer?
Let’s explore the other two definitions of a loser. Am I someone who was adversely affected by the situation? Absolutely not, in contrast, my participation in such an awesome event was far from catastrophic and I had the good fortune to meet many talented authors from around the world. Am I someone who was unsuccessful and seems destined to repeatedly fail? As far as being unsuccessful, again, absolutely not, after all I have a solid good first draft to polish over the next coming year. Am I destined to fail again? Yes, if I give up trying.
Just like any explorer who feels compelled to conquer a quest, I too saw NaNoWrimo in the distance as a mountain standing tall waiting for me to climb as high as my imagination boots would take me. Win or lose I’m proud to say I followed my quest and discovered how far my imagination could climb. Because you see even though I may be a loser when it comes to not attaining NaNoWrimo status I am, however, a winner when it comes to writing. Never in my wildest author dreams did I ever see myself, The Unknown Author, pushing beyond their limits and finishing a really solid 32,316 word first draft in less than 30 days. Bring on NaNoWrimo 2011!
Philosophically speaking, isn’t life all about winning some and losing some? So the next time you think of yourself as a loser, open up your trusty writer’s tool and discover your definition as a writer.
Until next time,
Keep on thriving, keep on striving and keep on writing!
The Unknown Author