NaNoWriMo website: a double-edged sword

NaNoWriMo website: a double-edged sword

I promise, once NaNoWriMo is done I will write about something else. Now, you’ll have to stand another post about this subject.

I observed, in the past two weeks of NaNo, that the related website does a great job in encouraging and involve writers. I particularly appreciate the Pep Talks from published authors, that are of great inspiration. But I also like the opportunity to get in touch with other writers through the forums. Moreover you can add writing buddies to your profile, sort of friends you can interact with in order to support each other, and that’s cool because you can involve writers you already know and meet someone new.

I really want to do this right. It’s the first time for me, but I am taking this seriously. So every morning I get up, have a shower, prepare my breakfast and then (if I don’t have to go to work) I sit in front of my laptop, with a huge cup of cappuccino. At that point I check my emails, my facebook account, my wordpress page, then I start writing. That means that I begin my writing day more or less an hour after waking up.

Now imagine this scenario.

I wake up, have a shower, prepare my cappuccino, check my emails, facebook page and wordpress. Then I go to the NaNoWriMo website. Oh look, there are a  few messages: one is from NaNo staff to encourage me to keep writing (how sweet!), another asks me to take part in some event and the third remember me how important is to donate. There’s a new Pep Talk. Wow I love this author, I will take just a few moments to read what he/she has to say.

It’s been two hours since I got up, I should be writing right now, but I have to check the forum page, just to see if someone replied to the comment I wrote yesterday. Oh, yes! There are replies. Good, let’s read them. I should write, really, but I have to reply to the replies. Just a few more minutes.

Ok, now I am ready to begin writing. However… it has been quite a long time since I talked with that writing buddy of mine. Maybe I should write a message just to know how he/she is getting by.

Then it’s time to cook lunch. The whole morning passed, I didn’t wrote a single word but I socialized a lot.

Now, what’s the point? NaNoWriMo is about writing, isn’t it? Yes, it is and it’s a very good way to gain the bravery to write a story and/or to acquire an habit about writing. But the website and the community offer plenty of opportunities to do anything but writing if your resolve is not strong enough.

That’s why I say that NaNoWriMo website is a double-edged sword. It brings an entire community to you, a community made of great people who share your dream and passion but, for most of us, writing is a solitary affair. You sit with yourself and try to put a word after another on the page.

NaNoWriMo organizers seems to find a new way everyday to distract us but… isn’t it a way of shooting themselves in the foot?

2 Replies to “NaNoWriMo website: a double-edged sword”

  1. Yep, they try to distract us too much. That’s why I don’t socialise with people on the NaNo site and that’s why I don’t even read the NaNo Mail. As you say, the only important thing to do is WRITING.

    1. I decided to socialize a bit on the Italian forums, because I don’t know many Italians writer and I meet some interesting people. However I try to follow only selected topics.

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