This post, actually, started out in my head as a 'Why I do NaNoWriMo' post. However, I was talking with a friend over IMs, and realized I don't, really, need to get into why I do NaNoWriMo. Mostly, because it boiled down to just a few words:
Because I want to.
Perhaps not the most adult answer, but the most honest one.
However, I thought that I'd answer a question that my friend asked me:
"Why do challenges all year long? Isn't NaNo enough?"
Well, I'm going to answer the latter question first: No, NaNo isn't enough. See; although the franticness of November includes NaNo and Thanksgiving, it isn't enough to keep me going all year long.
So, this past year, I experimented with giving myself guidelines and a schedule to keep. Some of that schedule got skewed along the way (this past summer I didn't have nearly
as much writing time as I thought) but all in all, I worked a lot better with the schedule, than I did without.
It's also why my personal journal ends up being more of a 'what needs to be done today' list than an actual journal. Although today I tl;dr-ed all over the place.
Yes, I make lists. If I don't, nothing gets done. No, seriously, nothing
gets done. I look down and it's 10am. I look up and it's 3.30 and all I've managed to get done is lose horribly at spider solitaire a lot.
Frankly, that's not a skill that I should flaunt.
The lists keep me on track. But, here's the thing: Even lists aren't enough to keep me motivated. So, I look around for things to keep my brain moving and keep me from getting bored with what I have to do to improve my writing.
That is where my competitive streak comes in. See, I cannot let other people 'beat' me. I cannot roll over and let them 'win' at anything, even if it's something so silly as creating something that I neither have the skill nor the patience to create.
I join challenges to keep me going. I join challenges so that I can point to something and say "I beat that!" I'm sure this points to something psychological or something, but I just use it as a motivational tool.
There are some other pretty hefty reasons, but those are personal and this is a writing blog. Back to the writing:
Challenges keep me from stagnating and playing so much spider solitaire that I explode my computer out of sheer frustration. That means that at the end of the week/month/day/whatever, I have something to point to and say... "I did that."
Now, to give updates on my various challenges: ( Challenges )
So, this entry has become very long and pretty much a big ego stroke for me. However, I believe creators - be it in writing, cooking, fabric crafts or anything else - have the need to stroke their own egos every once in a while.
I know several writers who do it. They do it unashamedly. I'm trying to follow their good examples. Now, if I could just get something published? Then, you'd really
see some ego stroking!