SoFoBoMo – What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
The intimidating aspect of SoFoBoMo isn’t that the problems you’ll encounter are insurmountable – people have successfully made books before. The intimidation comes in because for so many of us, we don’t even know what the problems ARE, let alone know how we’re going to solve them. And, if you don’t know what the problems are, how can you know if you can solve them? Add in the not insignificant requirement that it all be done in 30 days, and it seems like utter madness. Heck, let’s just come right out and say it – it’s utter madness.
I won’t say that it’s likely that everyone who signs up for SoFoBoMo will end up getting a book done in 30 days. (Last year, there were about 120 participants in NaSoAlMo, and only 21 people who finished an album.) It’s by no means a sure thing. But it’s important to remember that the worst possible outcome is that you still won’t have put together a book – you’ll be exactly where you’ll be if you don’t try. Actually, that’s not quite true. If you really make an effort, it seems to me that you’ll end up 30 days into SoFoBoMo and have only, say, 50% of your book complete. That’s a heck of a lot farther along than if you hadn’t started!
I think one possible payoff from SoFoBoMo is that you might actually finish, and you end up with a book. Done entirely in 30 days, it’s unlikely that it will represent your best work ever (although one never knows). But the big payoff is that the intimidation of attempting a book is gone. The problems of doing a book will have all been taken out of the ‘unknown and thus intimidating’ category and plopped into the much less intimidating “problems for which known solutions exist” category. The further you get in 30 days, the more problems you’ve moved from the bad category into the not quite so bad category. Even if you fail, you succeed.
If you’ve thought SoFoBoMo looked interesting, but you’re afraid of trying for fear of failing, stop and consider – What’s the worst that could happen? Is it really all that bad, or does it in fact seem pretty good?