Seeing a couple of social media posts recently about yet another November’s so-called “NaNoWriMo” (National Novel Writing Month), I could only but groan. Happily, I also found that I agreed with Zarah Parker. In October, she had suggested skipping it.
It being mid-November, and if you are doing it and are feeling dissatisfied and stressed by it… my suggestion is to STOP! Step away from the computer. Take a walk…
Yes, I know others who say they are participating. They are entitled to join in if they wish. But back in another November – in 2014 – I explained why I thought this “NaNoWriMo” is wrongheaded:
It has taken me since January to produce the 95,000 words that make up Frontiers. I wrote pretty much daily – adding, changing, altering, fine-tuning, detailing, cutting out, etc. The only lengthy slowdown was for much of February – shortly after I’d really gotten going – when I’d totally lost heart after the sudden death of our girlfriend and considered giving up on the entire project and throwing my computer out a second floor window. Her death so early in the writing profoundly influenced the overall tone of the tale. Like I said, writing is “intensely personal.”…
…So when I saw this “National Novel-Writing Month” goal of encouraging a “rough draft” of 50,000 words in 30 days, my reaction was someone is having a laugh. Talk about setting up aspiring writers for disillusionment right out of the starting gate. For given the incredible difficulty in producing a novel to begin with, the last thing anyone new to writing needs is to be urged to churn out a major part of one at warp speed.
If you wish to write a novel, don’t waste time “throwing spaghetti against the wall” this month just to see what sticks. Create at your own pace. Also consider reading not more J.K. Rowling or Lee Child or someone else on a best seller list, and instead delve into a first indie novel (or more than one).
That is one from 2016. I bought Delphine Woods’ first (Kindle) book the other day. I have started it and I’m enjoying it so far.
As I work on my fifth novel – most days producing a combination of a few pages with writing I like, and I’m unsure about, and I believe contains awful stuff that must never be read by another human – reading hers is proving to be a welcome escape.
Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂