Weekly Recap – November 27th, 2013 (Early Edition)

Yes, I’m sending this one out early because after 2:00PM PST, I will be M.I.A. until next Monday. Of course we have Thanksgiving this week, but I will be attending my first sci-fi convention, Loscon 40, Friday through Sunday. There will be fantastic panels and some of my favorite authors will be speaking. Really, really looking forward to that.

First things second:

I know there’s been a lot of discussion lately about the validity of winning and losing NaNoWriMo. I really do feel there are benefits to be found in “losing” and just the fact that you tried to write a 50,000 word draft in a month, my God man, good job! But it feels good to accomplish something I didn’t think I could do (and didn’t do) last year. Not that I’m done writing the story as I still have about ten scenes left to wrap up from my outline.

All well and good, but edits come next and slaying that beast requires a different set of tactics.

For me, cracking a first draft is like cooking a piece of steak. It needs to be done fast and with lots of heat. Next comes the resting period. I don’t want to even look at the steak or I’m afraid it’ll lose all its juice. Soon it will be time eat, best done slowly, judging flavor, cutting out gristle and excess fat. So it is with editing. If I can get that part right, I’ll be satisfied at the end, not left hungry and not sick from overindulgence.

What does steak have to do with Thanksgiving? Absolutely nothing, but I’ve never made a turkey so I needed something metaphor-friendly.

To those countries who have some sort of holiday this week, enjoy. To those who don’t and are stuck working the rest of the week, yeah, sorry about that. Better luck next time!

-Phillip

0 thoughts on “Weekly Recap – November 27th, 2013 (Early Edition)”

  1. Love the steak analogy! I’m hungry now.

    I don’t think it’s bad to say we “won” NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t make other people losers, it’s just an achievement we can celebrate. We’re all winners if we wrote words this month that we wouldn’t have otherwise. I agree that we should never say someone “lost” NaNo (I know I never would!), but we should be allowed to say we won, and be proud of that. To say otherwise is to deny that we took on this specific challenge with specific goals. Winning can be good without not-winning being bad. The discussion reminds me of parents who want to abolish honor rolls in high schools because not everyone “wins” that one.

    Saying you won isn’t taking anything away from someone who didn’t, unless they’re particularly sensitive about it. I haven’t won every year I’ve participated, but that has never made me feel like a loser. 🙂

    1. Yeah, sorry about that. I got hungry as I wrote it. 🙂

      I guess I’m old-school when it comes to the notions of winning and losing. I’m not a fan of the “we’re all winners” line of thinking, because I think that a propagates a mindset of “why bother?” If I can also be a winner by doing nothing, awesome!

      Now, that’s not to say, as you point out, there’s nothing to be learned by losing. I would say that’s where most of the learning happens. Sure, we can be two, or even ten, steps ahead of where we were by just trying, but I wouldn’t qualify that as winning, because the goal is not met.

      Anyway, my apologies for the rant and congratulations to you on writing as much as you did. You didn’t just win NaNo this year, you OWNED it! 🙂

      1. I think we agree- I may have phrased that badly.

        I’m not a fan of the “everyone wins” mentality in most cases, either, and I don’t want to see it creep into NaNoWriMo, where the goal is clear. As I said, we take on a challenge, and we either meet it or we don’t. I just think it’s silly that some people don’t want us to talk about winning NaNoWriMo, especially when that doesn’t mean everyone else should feel like they lost. I guess I see winning this as a clear thing, but I don’t see it as either/or any more than I see an olympic silver medalist as the “first-place loser.” We can crow about winning, but it shouldn’t hurt anyone else or make them feel like they’re failures.

        I think a lot of kids growing up now are shocked to learn that they actually have to work to achieve things in the real world, that we’re not all winners for trying and you don’t get a paycheck for showing up. That’s why I like that NaNo does have winner prizes, and a certificate. In fact, I’d say I was damaged by the “well, you tried, so you win!” attitude, and by the fact that I didn’t do enough failing in school… but that’s another topic. Maybe for my blog.

  2. Congratulations, Philip! It’s a good feeling to wrap up NaNo early (although like you, my novel is still not finished). I’m glad you note that there are no NaNo losers. Everyone is a participant and that alone entitles people to pats on the back and even some software discounts 😉 Hope you have great fun at the convention … what a wonderful way to spend the weekend!

  3. Congratulations!!! I have yet to slay the beast that is Nano, but I have attempted and come close, and I was mighty proud. I imagine I would die of happiness if I ever actually accomplished it. So again, congrats!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and the congratulations! You should be proud for making the attempt, but I would urge you to keep trying. You’ll nail it eventually and it will feel so good to accomplish it after all of the effort you’ve put in.

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