If you’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo, try it at least once. Scratch that item of writing a novel off your life’s bucket list. 2012 is my third attempt. I won my previous tries in 2010 and 2011, and I plan on winning this attempt as well. How do you win? Simple, write 50,000 words of a NEW novel during November. Nobody reads it. Nobody really cares if you really succeeded or not. Nobody cares if it’s any good. It’s all about you writing that story.
Some will argue against this venture, and I suppose they have good points. Who really needs another trashy novel cluttering the shelves? Lord knows we have enough of them already. But NaNo is not about creating masterpieces — tell that to Sara Gruen — it’s about putting words on a page. Everybody who writes knows the benefits of writing. The main purpose of Nano is to get people to write. During November some five billion words might be written that might otherwise not have been. How many good words are in that mess? If ninety percent of a good writer’s are bad, then we can cut this down to at most five hundred million good words. The majority of NaNoers are crappy writers — the majority of writers are crappy. The one thing all writers do well is produce crap. Let’s say we’re so crappy that only one in a thousand of our passages are actually worthy. Five billion divided by a thousand is still five million. NaNoWriMo therefore produces at least five million quality passages every November. Isn’t that worthy?
Don’t you want to make your own contribution? So what if few of these words will ever be read? The writers were affected. Possibly ninety percent of NaNoers are affected by their writing. Possibly as many as a quarter of a million writers are so affected by their own words that they make change in their own lives. Okay, that’s a bit ambitious, but say ten percent are, or maybe one percent are. Say twenty-five hundred writers are so affected that they make a significant change in their lives. Isn’t that worthy? Isn’t that worth the effort of writing two or three hours a day for a month? Isn’t that worth the risk of failure?
NaNo is my time to start a new novel, and I’m deep into my preparations. I turned 2010 into an 80k uncompleted story followed by turning 2011 into a completed 120k story which I’m now seeking feedback on. Both are active projects, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start another. I need to write creatively, and spending 100% of my free time editing and revising doesn’t come close to meeting my creative needs. By the time November rolls around, I have a deep itch to write, something short stories, poetry, blogs, and forum comments can’t come close to scratching. I’ve read several books on writing, several novels, attended many writing and reading club meetings. My muse is well fed and ready to fly. I think I’ve turned NaNo into my annual jump off the literary cliff. I also tend to be competitive, so I enjoy the pressure. Yes, a quickly drafted story can turn into a mess, and my next blog will attempt to cover how I’m approaching this year’s story. Stay tuned.
What are you waiting for? Sign up today.
The Hyperteller said:
I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. It’ll be my third attempt too. The people who dismiss NaNoWriMo because it mostly produces crap are completely missing the point of it, in my opinion. I originally undertook the challenge because I’d spent so long editing my novel that, like a lot of writers, I could no longer turn off my inner editor. It got so bad I couldn’t write more than 200 words without deciding it was awful and deleting it all, not even saving it to go back to later on.
Thankfully now I’ve struck the right balance again and am looking forward to another 30 days of writing without worrying about whether it’s good or not. And, you know what, the last two times I’ve gone back to read over my NaNos, I found that they have actually been a lot better than I thought. I gives me hope.
Good luck with yours 🙂
Good luck for NaNo! 🙂 Beth
Stephen del Mar said:
Yes, so many people don’t get that we are producing first drafts, they always suck. 🙂