Today I’m here linking up for ‘Writer’s Reveal’ where a few of us join forces and offer each other topics to write about each month. This month Ashley from Ghostnapped asked me to write about the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo.
What is it?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month where any writer from around the world joins up and aims to write 50,000 words during the month of November towards their novel which is an average of 1,667 words per day. There are a few basic rules but basically it is an honesty system where at the end of each day you tally up how many words you’ve written and hopefully by December 1, you have reached the magic milestone and can declare yourself a winner!
1. It gets you writing – sometimes, okay most of the time the hardest thing for a writer to do is get those words down. It may sound silly, I mean isn’t that what writers do? Write? Yes, but it is much easier said than done.
2. It prevents you from editing as you go – There is time and place for editing and during the first draft is not the time. Countless hours and much needed sleep can be lost revising Chapter 1 if you let it. During NaNo you simply don’t have the time.
3. It helps you flesh out an idea that may have been floating around your head – Think you have a novel inside you? Think you have a best seller? Chances are sitting down and taking part in NaNo will see if the idea is sound enough for a real book. By the end of 50,000 words you will soon know if your idea has legs or completely needs shelving for good.
4. It’s inspiring – Seeing other writers tally go up at the end of the day is inspiring. It may motivate you to get your words down, but also as a writer we just love seeing people write. There is a whole huge community at the NaNo website with forums a plenty and there are also local groups and Facebook groups where you can connect with other writers. I’m part of a group on Facebook and it is such a wonderfully supportive place, and a great place to be surrounded by like-minded souls.
5. To be a writer, you must write – Writing is a craft which means you must practice. NaNo not only forces you to get the words down and also helps you form writing habits and understand how best you write; what time of day, where, how.
1. Pressure – Some people are not deadline people, so for them, NaNo probably isn’t the best idea. If you are going to get wrapped up in meeting the daily word count and begin beating yourself up if you don’t meet it, then the idea is lost on you. I like to look at NaNo and with the motto, ‘Any words I get down are words I wouldn’t have had down before I started’.
2. Quality – With the pressure on to just write sometimes the words are not of the best quality. I don’t know of any writers or authors who have ever written a perfect first draft either! For me, any words are good words, well not exactly but any words are words to work with and for a writer surely that is a pro.
3. Everything else is put on hold – for me it is anyway! My blog gets neglected, paid writing gets neglected, social media too (maybe that’s actually a good thing!). Obviously, there are things that can’t be neglected such as children, husbands and work, but when all focus is on writing for those around you it can be a time where you are seen as *absent*.
4. Editing – Editing a book or part thereof written during NaNo can be more time consuming than editing a manuscript written normally. As mentioned the quality may not be there so a lot of rewriting is required!
For me NaNo is about practising and doing what I love, if there’s an idea worth following through at the end of the month then it’s simply a bonus. If not, I don’t look at it as a waste, I look at it as one step closer to becoming a better writer.
Are you camp pro or camp con?
Or are you totally over me talking about NaNo? 😉