Appreciation Challenge: Thanking your writing spectators4 min read
I’m still very behind on my Nano word count. Despite the challenge, I’m feeling extremely relaxed about it. This is worrying me.
In fact, I’m feeling so unexpectedly relaxed about it that this evening I have gone late night shopping, re-watched several episodes of Grace and Frankie, blogged, read a comic, played games on my phone, eaten half a packet of my “emergency cookie stash” and studiously avoided even doing the minimum word count.
Part of me is starting to wonder whether I’m treating Nano as the challenge it is. This got me thinking about challenges in writing more generally.
You’ve got word count challenges, like Nano. Perhaps idea challenges, when friends or writing groups set you prompts and you must produce something interesting from them. There are challenges in delivering tone, when the character doesn’t sound the way they sounded in your head. Challenges of form, when you want to do something a bit more experimental with how you set the story down on the page. Even challenges of sticking to an idea when the plot bunnies are running rampant.
There are so many challenges in writing.
So, I started thinking about what the opposite of a challenge is for writers. Then I got distracted Googling antonyms of “challenge” and disagreeing with them all.
The opposite of a challenge is something you find easy, right? So what about writing is easy?
My first answer: Nothing.
It’s hard. It takes brains, creativity, patience, perseverance, and much more besides. Is there anything that’s easy about writing?
Well, maybe you’ll think this is a cop out, but I think it’s crucial; there is one thing I find easy about writing, and that’s knowing who to thank. Maybe your finished work will go out into the world and help the lives of many but, whilst you are writing it, there will be so many people you lean on.
I have never yet made it through a Nano without making my friends brainstorm ideas for where to take the story next. I would never make it through Nano without making myself accountable to everyone I know. (Every day I need them ask me what the word count is!) And I haven’t made it through a Nano without cajoling friends into joining up with me to make it one big group adventure.
So join me in a big shout of appreciation to the people that support writers through the challenge of Nanowrimo. (Even if that support is backing away slowly to leave them to get on with it…) Nano would be so much more of a challenge without you!
Now, how about a brainstorm to get me my missing 5,000 words of material?
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