I was reading blog posts this morning, catching up on posts from the last couple of days of some of the blogs that I subscribe to. I came across one by Catherine Ryan Howard discussing National Novel Writing Month and some of the backlash that the yearly event gets from “real writers” who turn down their noses at the idea of creating a novel in 30 days. Her blog post listed a whole host of reasons why she discarded the notion that NaNoWriMo is just nonsense and somehow belittles the profession of writing.
Until reading her blog post I had never known anyone to say anything bad about NaNoWriMo or that indicated that NaNoWriMo was something that was not for “real writers”. After all, I’ve done NaNoWriMo for many years and I don’t consider myself anything less than a real writer. It got me to thinking about just how many people that we don’t realize actually get the novels that they began writing during a National Novel Writing Month event published and just how important something like NaNoWriMo really is.
It also made me think about how many people do themselves in by trying to actually complete a novel (writing, editing, rewriting, and re-editing again many times over) in those 30 days. Maybe that’s where people get overwhelmed at with the thought of NaNoWriMo. So many people (myself included) have tried to complete the impossible task of writing and actually finishing a novel in 30 days that they forget to have fun while they are doing it.
Yes writing is (hard) work, but I think that a lot of times what we writers tend to forget during the month of November is that it should still be fun as well. There should still be passion behind the words we write and not just a continuous rush to get it done no matter what. If you are striving for a perfect draft the first time out the gate during NaNoWriMo then you may just be disappointed.
Don’t get caught up in exactly what the end product is supposed to be. After you’ve come up with the plot, you’ve done your outline, and you’ve mapped out your schedule, just sit down and write.
Don’t try and make it perfect, don’t go back and edit while you’re writing, don’t agonize over whether you’re going to be able to get it published once it’s done. Just sit down, enjoy the characters that are honoring you with telling their story, and write! I promise you that if you enjoy what you are writing, then people will almost certainly enjoy reading what you have written.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”
2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Reminder: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect On the First Draft”
With thousands of participants (200,000 and counting this year alone), NaNoWriMo is never dull. Most people have a book in mind that they “plan on writing one day.” That is the beauty of NaNoWriMo and part of its purpose! It’s a high-low-pressure way for people to write that book they’ve always wanted to write. High pressure because there is a deadline that keeps participants in check, and low pressure because they are doing NaNoWriMo for fun!