For a couple years I participated in National Novel Writing Month, a November based “competition” that challenges writers to pound out a fifty thousand word “novel” in thirty days. If I remember correctly, I participated for three years, never quite “winning” but enjoying the overall process, before losing my literary mojo. The prize of the competition is mostly bragging rights and the camaraderie of supporting authors, which really is a prize when you consider what it takes to ink out 1613 words every day for thirty-one days.
Now that I’m working to get back to my writing roots with this Blog but no longer in “hardcore writer” mode, I thought I’d try my hand at the BlogHer’s version of NaNoWriMo, National Blog Posting Month. Having piloted several Blogs in the past I know that one of the keys to a successful publication is forming symbiotic relationships with other Bloggers. These connections offer exposure to readers, critiques from veterans, and advice to help on how to make your Blog pop. Seems that’s what NaBloPoMo was all about… Until I realized it’s more of a commercially competitive effort than NaNoWriMo, complete with material prizes and themes. Upon discovering this, I dropped out of the “race”. The entire process took thirty minutes.
Naturally, I’m not a very competitive person and I despise gambling in the traditional sense. This goes doubly so when it comes to my writing which is probably why I’ve never really made a serious attempt at being published. Although writing is more than a hobby for me, my ability to produce comes in the freedom I give myself to do so, and the personal satisfaction I get from sharing my words with others. Because writing is a skill that comes innately, I see it as a gift not a competitive function; something that allows me to bare myself in an effort to be understood. Even my silly status snippets on Facebook, if you can believe that. Writing for me at this juncture is more than a chance to win an iPad or tickets to BlogHer’s annual conference. It’s a way for me to contribute to the global conversation and possibly change a perspective or two.
Maybe once I’ve regain my “ink legs” I’ll take a shot at the contest just for S&Gs. But for right note, my every other day competition with myself is good for me. I applaud all the NaBloPoMo participants though, and wish them all the luck in the world.