There seems to be a case of overachieveritis at the NaNoWriMo forums this year. I’ve counted no fewer than four people aiming for a million words so far this year, and that’s not counting the word count goal of known overachiever Kateness, whose current goal is 500,000 words but could change. Where have all these overachievers come from? I took a look at these users’ profiles to see where they came from, and the results surprised me.
One of them is doing NaNo for the first time. That’s right. A first-time Wrimo doing a million words. Another has never won a NaNo before according to their profile. The other two have won all their NaNos before, though one is a second-timer.
I did notice that the Wrimo who has never finished a NaNo before did state that their goal is so high just to make sure they’d reach 50k. If that’s the case, why go for a million words and fail at that? It boggles the mind.
I think part of the reason for so many people going for a million words is the competition. People always want to be the best, even though there are no awards given out for best novel or longest novel. People get competitive and set goals like these, sometimes because they want to reach them themselves, sometimes just to see if someone else will take the bait. Whatever the case, I have a list of Wrimos on my desk, and I will be keeping track this year.
On the flip side, let’s take a look at people who overachieve but don’t go for a million words. I’m writing 150,000 words this year. This makes some people think I’m crazy, but some people also take this personally, including some friends of mine. Everyone works differently. Some people are fast writers and can write a thousand words or more in fifteen minutes. I am one of those people. Others have to pull teeth to write a thousand words in a day. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, that is okay. That’s your technique, and it’s a perfectly valid one. Just don’t take it personally when others operate differently. Don’t tell me I need to start applying warnings to posts about high word counts.