Why I Won’t Be Doing NaNoWriMo This Year – The Climb #283

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Why I Won’t Be Doing NaNoWriMo This Year – The Climb #283

Tuesday 31st October 2017

So I won’t be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, and it saddens me.

Whilst I’ve seen some authors moan about NaNo I think it serves a useful function.  It teaches you that a novel is the product of a lot of continuous work.  And whilst the result of NaNo is only 50,000 words long and therefore not technically a novel, I think it proves its point.

And yes, the quality of some NaNo novels are… how should we say it… lacking, but the point isn’t to have a finished novel in 30 days, it’s to have a first draft.  There’s a lot to be said for letting go, experimenting and not worrying about whether the result of that first draft is crap or not.

If the agenting process has taught me anything, it’s that any novel can be fixed, no matter how broken.

I think it’s good to turn off your internal critic for a while and just write.  Indeed, I’ve written a lot of first drafts of novels that may one day see publication, as NaNo novels.  The problem is that I keep levelling up such that what I once throught an acceptable edit, would now get edited further.

And this is, in part the reason, I’m not going to do NaNo this year.  Typically I’ve either written or edited a novel each year.  The time constraint has been a good way to focus my attention and get stuff done.  But what I need to work on is the second draft of book 2 and it needs a defter hand than a quick edit.

For that reason, whilst I want to get it done and into the hands of beta readers, I don’t want to shortcut the process due to imaginary deadlines.  I need to do some restructuring and rewriting, and I need to take the time to do that properly and not rush it.

But I’m also unable to start this tomorrow.  With the biggest tournament in the swordfighting calendar looming, I need to be focused on that until next week.  Which means that by the time I get back, get focused and start work a third of the month will be over.

I don’t want to feel I’m running behind, and need to catch up.  That’ll just lead to substandard work.

The funny thing is that I’ll probably end up editing more than 50,000 words before the end of the month anyway… it just won’t be done under the banner of NaNoWriMo.

I’m very sad about this.  NaNo and I go a long way back and I’ve always enjoyed the community and camaraderie that goes with it.  Maybe I’ll drop into a meeting to say hi, but for the most part I’ll be staying away.

It feels like a sad break up.  I don’t ever want to feel that I’m “too good” for NaNoWriMo but this year things just haven’t aligned as I would have liked.

But if you’re taking part this year, go for it and have fun.  Whether you end up writing 1000 words of a 100,000 NaNo is not only a great way to kickstart that novel you’ve been saying you were going to write for years, but will also allow you to make new friends.

On moving down to Wiltshire, NaNoWriMo was one of the first things I did socially and the friends I made doing it are great friends to this day.

So make up for me not taking part by taking part yourself.  Relish in writing with complete abandon and most of all, have fun!

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-11-01T21:18:16+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Swordfighting, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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