Friday, 29 October 2010

NaNoWriMo and motivation

Only about 20% of people who sign up for NaNoWriMo actually complete their 50 000 words. What does that tell you about writing and people? To me, it says that a publicly-declared intention does not ensure follow-through on a goal, and that setting the goal is not the problem. It takes more than "just get started, then keep going" to write a novel, and those 80% of people who fail will attest to that. I think NaNoWriMo needs to look to those 80% of failed participants and ask them what went wrong. Did they run out of steam? Was their idea not sustainable for the length of a novel? Were they derailed by some personal disaster, or could they just not commit to the time it took every day?

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Not enough attention is paid to failure stories these days.
PPS - Which is a pity. We could learn so much.


Chris said...

A friend talked me into participating this year and I'm really excited to get started. I've had this story idea bouncing around in my head for the last two months and it'll be so good to finally get the ideas down in writing.

I'm surprised more people don't meet their goals. 50 000 words really isn't that big a stretch when it comes to writing. I mean, heck - I just wrote 94 words just now. All I have to do is write it again a 532-odd times and I have a novel.

John said...

It does sound simple, doesn't it? But there's that 80% statistic staring us in the face, making us ask why. My guess is that most people find it too hard to sustain a story for that long, even when it's spread over a whole month.