With only a few days left of Camp NaNoWriMo, my chances of winning are looking slim to none. It’s almost laughable, really. But you know what? Instead of beating myself up about it, I’m planning something of a Failure-Party. After chatting with my cabin-mates about how little writing we got done this month, I realized that accepting failure is part of the writing process.
Let me explain. A fear of failure is one of the main reasons why writers don’t write. They fear that the story in their head will never truly be captured on paper, or they fear that no one will want to read what they write, etc., on and on until they become paralyzed with fear.
I don’t ever want a fear of failure to keep me from writing. And as I have enough fears, I don’t need to add failure to the list. So I’m choosing to accept my failure – to embrace it, even – as a part of the writing process. (It’ll help me write more interesting character flaws, right?!)
The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that it lets you practice failure. And that might sound silly, but for perfectionists like moi, practicing failure in a relatively low-stakes way can be incredibly valuable. Because I haven’t completely failed, I’ve just failed to meet this one particular goal I set for myself this month. There’s always another goal, another month, another chance to succeed or to practice failure and learn something along the way.
And so, if you’re in the same boat as me: Welcome Aboard the SS Failure, where second chances are always at the ready and “thinking about writing” is considered a solid effort. Here’s your “you tried” star.
And remember that there’s always another NaNoWriMo in just a few months. I hope to see you there.