Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My one NaNoWriMo tip

I'm a veteran of the frenetic writing free-for-all known as NaNoWriMo. The official goal is to write a novel -- at a mere 50,000 words, a short one -- during the month of November. (That averages out to about 2000 words per day.) The actual goal is to turn off that inner editor -- you know, the one who tells you that you are no good and would be better off digging ditches or anything but writing -- and just write. As someone who's been doing just that for the past six years, I'm here to tell you.. don't do that. Listen to your inner editor. Don't just slap down crap for the sake of making your daily word count.

Of course, that runs counter to everything NaNo teaches, but it's the only thing that's worked for whether I've "won" or "lost." The first year I did NaNo I "won," but half-a-decade later I have nothing to show for it except an embarrassing draft of a novel that's so bad calling it a "shitty first draft" would be generous.

Striking a balance would be ideal: writing without the constant rumbling in one's head that what you're creating is shit, but realizing that, hmm, maybe it is pretty shitty. It's really easy to get caught up in the fury of NaNo, and wanting the prize at the end, even if that prize is too simply say, "Yes, I have written something." But sometimes 50,000 words is just... 50,000 words.

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