Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014


Once again it's November and time for me to, sort of, participate in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month!
The goal is to write 50,000 in 31 days. 

The mission: "Make no mistake,  you will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create."

It's true that you can't edit your manuscript (to craft a finished novel) if you don't have any content. I love to think and think...and think, but that doesn't make for a lot of editable content.

The permission is to just write and get it all out. Just like the book says (NaNoWriMo's founder Chris Baty's book No Plot? No Problem!) I can see the results from not stressing about the story and not imposing perfection on my writing, the words start to flow and ideas end up on paper.

Do doubt it's true that 80-well...96.5% of the word combinations are...let's say, poor, there are some gems that wouldn't have been written if the writing was too constrained. Just like conversation, a lot is not very interesting (if written down), but sometimes in conversation a really good, witty comment appears, totally off-the-cuff. The kind of comment that takes you off-guard and leads you to think that you're smarter and sharper than you really are. But if you didn't do all that talking, that golden zinger might not have ever happened. Same with writing.

Carolyn Kellogg wrote a great article in defense of NaNoWriMo for the LA Times blog.

Anyway, I'll this said, my frustration with the process is my inability to write quickly. Writer-friends who participate (and successfully finish) say they can write their daily word count, around 1,600 words, in approximately 90 minutes. Really? I wrote today for about 2 hours and could only get to 1,200. I just can't think fast enough. I still want to participate to get the benefits of a deadline and increase my discipline by writing everyday, but I just can't commit to what I think would take me three hours a day.

I don't want to be left out though, so I've committed to an extremely modest target of 250 words a day. This way I get some of the benefits, but I don't have to forgo eating and sleeping in order to get in my daily word count. It being day 12, my target goal is 3,000 words and I'm up to 4,432. I'm averaging closer to 350 a day and this leaves me feeling accomplished instead of frustrated. And I'm having fun! Yay!

I love this photo! The writer shown here is Evadne Price. I'd love to be writing on my typewriter, but I haven't yet figured out how to re-ink the ribbon and I don't think the tapping would be well received at the cafes where I like to write. It would be fun though to sit in the middle of a sea of laptops and tablets banging away at a typewriter.

No comments:

Post a Comment