I was a bit shocked to look at the calendar today and realise that it is already February, and then I realised something even more disheartening – that I hadn’t blogged about my NaNoWriMo experiences! So, in a completely untimely and probably irrelevant fashion, here it is – the NaNoWriMo post.
Rather than assume everyone knows what NaNoWriMo is (thought I know you all do) here is a brief description from their website:
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
I’ve always found the idea intriguing, and had completing NaNoWriMo down as a goal of mine. I knew a lot of people who had attempted it, with varying degrees of success, and I decided that 2011 was the year that I would stop thinking, and start doing.
In the months leading up to November there was much discussion about NaNoWriMo, people listing their goals and stating their intentions, blog posts listing the pros or the cons, or both, of the whole enterprise. It certainly seemed to be a fairly polarising issue, with some people effusive in their praise, and others damning in their indictments.
One of the most interesting “anti” NaNo posts was from Alan Baxter, who I thought made some pretty valid points, and certainly gave me something to think about. On the other hand, with a writer I respect as much as Tansy Rayner Roberts in the “pro” camp it was hard to write it off. And that was the problem, so many writers I admire on either side. Obviously I would have to do the hard thing and make my own decision!!