So I didn’t complete Nanowrimo as planned. That means I lost. I just ran out of steam, and I didn’t enjoy the process at all.
However, I did learn some things about what works for me. Unrestrained outpouring of words, focusing on “write now and edit later” only goes so far. I didn’t feel like I wanted to write crap and purify it later. I wanted to write something passable and, yes, refine it later, but not at the cost of something incredibly terrible. Chuck Wendig had a great quote:
Still, though, is your goal really to write a lot of crap? Really? I write, and I write for purpose and clarity and… well, ideally, for it not to be crap. I’d rather forgo intensity and turn in a solid product; a balance must be struck. Writing should never be a churn-and-burn situation, just as it shouldn’t be a quest for crystalline perfection. Further, in a perfect world October would be NaOuYoShMo (National Outline Your Shit Month) and December would be NaReYoCraNoMo (National Revise Your Crappy Novel Month). As it stands right now, you take 30 days, write a bunch of garbage, and then applaud. (To be fair, the community around the event encourages ways to prep and finalize. But the rules at the outset are a little too “Eee! Celebrate mediocrity!”)
Don’t misunderstand me. The folks that did this and finished did something praiseworthy and I would love to see some of my friends turn their drafts into great novels. Even better, I’d love to see them get published.
But I need to find a different way to tell the stories I have bubbling up inside of me.