NaNo-Reminder: It’s Okay to “Fail”

Maybe you noticed that today’s post is a little late. That’s because a friend threw a welcome party for another friend last night and long story short this blog post has been delayed due to many martinis.

In personal writing news, I have gone way too many days this week without writing, and every day I have written I have not reached the daily goal. Why, you might ask? Remember how I’ve mentioned that I’m lazy? That would be one why. Another why is that my job has been very stressful this week (okay, it’s always stressful, I’ve just been bad at handling it this week) and I’ve allowed that stress to distract me, I’ve used it as an excuse to stay in bed longer in the morning, to not immediately write in the afternoon and all kinds of other rationalizations and distractions that I’ve used to let myself off the hook for not writing (one of them was an absolutely perfect date with The Girl on Thursday but I’m not considering that an excuse, I’m considering it a reward). I’ve been making an art out of not writing. And I was going to spend this blog post telling myself off for being so lazy, but I think I’m gonna take another approach. I’m going to let my Mental Health Aware self out of the box and let her write this post.

Breaking News: Writing is hard. I know, shocking. I’ve never said that before and neither has any other writer ever. This is huge. 

But yes, it’s the truth. Writing is hard. It’s wonderful, rewarding, freeing and spectacular, but also mindbogglingly exhausting, complicated, draining and demanding. That’s why writers need to talk about writing so much; it takes a little bit of the pressure off when you get to bitch about it to your friends. It’s also why it’s so easy to give in under the strain of it and fail every so often.  

Especially at a time like NaNoWriMo, writers get a lot of pressure from themselves and the community to preform better than we usually do. No one is telling us we have to, in fact everyone is super supportive and accepting, and yet we still give ourselves such a damn hard time. Because writers are crazy, and while we will tell each other it’s okay to fall short, we still deep down don’t think it’s okay for us to under-perform. And if all of us really think this but still tell each other its okay, that pretty much makes us the biggest bunch of hypocrites of the creative community. So I’m going to take myself at my own word. I tell all my friends who are behind on NaNoWriMo that it’s okay, that the effort is everything and the only thing that really matters is that they do their best. Well today I’m telling me.

Rain, it’s okay that you’ve fallen behind the past week and it doesn’t make you any less of a writer. As long as you try and do as much as you can without it harming your mental health, you can be proud of every word and you don’t need to be afraid of falling beneath the line on the stats page. Even though you’re 6000 words behind right now, I’m not mad at you. You’ll write as much as you can and that’s enough. Writing is important, but so is your sanity. Maintaining the balance is all you can do.

You hear that, writers? That goes for all of you. Don’t tell other writers one thing and hold yourself to a different standard. It’s not fair. We’re all doing the best we can, and that’s all we can fucking do. We’re champions either way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a novel to write.

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