Writing Wednesday

Hi all,

I have my laptop back – woot! Hopefully work can get back on track now 🙂 Speaking of word, we’re over halfway through November now – I know a lot of people who are doing Nano, so I hope it’s going well for you. I tend to have slightly mixed feelings about it. I have done it before and it was a great feeling of accomplishment, and it’s nice to see renewed motivation going round while it’s on. Let’s face it, motivation is one of the hardest things when it comes to being a writer, so anything that promotes that should be a good thing. At the same time though I think it depends a lot on how you use Nano.

a-professional-writer-is-an-amateur-who-didnt-quitI’ve seen people get discouraged and disheartened just because they slip behind the ‘word count’ or feel intimidated by others posting regular giant words for the day. People can ‘give up’ for these reasons (and I’m sure many others) and I think sometimes can lose sight of what Nano is supposed to be – a tool to help you write. If you don’t make 50k, who cares! Do you have more words than you would have done otherwise? If so then you’ve suceeded, you’ve won, and don’t let the lack of some little online badge take that away from you. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that it motivates you to do the writing you need to do.

The other thing about Nano is that it’s just one month. I get that it’s supposed to kickstart, and if people use it like that then great, but every year I see people doing great doing November and then before we’re halfway through December they have trailed off, the motivation is gone, and sometimes it doesn’t seem to come back until the next November! The Nano word targets can be unrealistic for a lot of us to keep up during the year, but the habit of regular writing is one that we all need to try and stick to.

That kind of brings me to a blog post that has been going fairly viral this week. It was about the writing tip/quote ‘Writers write’. The author objected to this quote being constantly said to new/aspiring authors as they felt that it could make them feel bad or that they weren’t ‘real writers’ if they weren’t writing all the time. I must admit I think it’s a bit of an overly sensitive view. I don’t see anywhere in the quote where it says, ‘writers write x number of words every single day’. We all know that most of the time this isn’t possible. As this author pointed out, we have personal lives, families, friends, many of us have other jobs, and yes, sometimes you do just need a bit of a writing break. But none of that means that we aren’t ‘real writers’, and writers do write. That’s what makes us writers in the first place, that urge to get the words out. It’s not always easy, and motivation can be a major issue – so maybe anything like Nano that helps with that has to be a good thing by default.

Happy Hump Day x


2 responses to “Writing Wednesday”

  1. Yes, just keep writing. NaNoWriMo is not really about making a novel in a month but is actually about getting started at writing and learning to go on without giving up. 🙂

  2. Taken from Wikipeadia:

    In 2013, January and February were deemed NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” Months, designed to help novelists during the editing and revision process. To participate, writers must first make a commitment to revisit their novels. This includes signing a contract via NaNoWriMo. The next step is to attend the internet seminars where publishing experts and NaNoWriMo novelists are available to advise writers on the next steps for their draft. After that, participants should communicate on Twitter via the hashtags in order to compare editing notes and interact with agents and publishers. The last step is to stay updated with NaNoWriMo’s blog where encouragement and advice are offered by authors, editors, and agents. The main goal of these “Now What?” Months is to get novelists published.

    There are other projects Nano do, such as Writing a poem a day month… NaNoPoMo.

    I’ve taken part three times, two with novels and one with poetry. Failed each time. Not only to keep writing but to even check in with the site half the time. Once you announce that you are doing it then there is a lot of pressure on yourself. Still it’s worth doing just for the experience.

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