Why waste your time and energy?
One month, one story, 50,000 words.
The thing is, on December first you’re not magically a better writer, you’re a writer who just wrote 50,000 words. That’s it.
Writing faster does not mean writing better, in fact I would argue the opposite. You spend a month so focus on a numbered goal that you’re just trying to get the sentences out, not make them the best they can be.
But revision comes after, right? Well, you could have wrote at a normal pace and edited as you went, crafting each sentence, each paragraph with love for the language. You have to revise so much afterward that it’s a waste of time to get the 50,000 out just to only keep 1,000 of them. And that’s only a maybe.
With nanowrimo you’re not paying attention – with writing you need to pay attention. You need to know what each sentence conveys.
The alternative: Focus on one part of writing you really want to be better at. For me, that’s dialogue. Instead of blindly crafting a novel, take the month to work on one aspect of writing. Dialogue, character, scene. Whatever.
Like I said before, doing nanowrimo doesn’t make you a better writer. It more than likely stunts your growth as a writer, because once you have those 50,000 words down, it’s hard to go through them with a truly critical eye. Because you finally finished it. Taking your time, practicing one thing at a time will strengthen your writing, which should be every writers goal.
If you’re doing the challenge just because you believe it’ll get you writing, then I’d ask, what are you going to do when it’s over?
So skip nanowrimo, because it’s not for the writer who want to grow in skill, it’s for the writer who just wants to say they wrote 50,000 words in a month.
One thought on “Repost: Why You Should Skip Nanowrimo by Zarah Parker”
Yes, Brix, I completely agree. To be a good writer, write. And write more. But write at your own pace, in your own style. Write til the cows come home. Then, when they’re home, write til they leave again.
A good analogy is the person who wants to be a photographer, but only takes photography classes. In my experience, you carry your camera with you at all times, ready to shoot something perfect, something imperfect, something.
Usta be that the writer carried a little notebook everywhere, ready to jot down the emerging idea. These days we have iPhones for that and it’s much better, because you can take notes and then a picture to help you edit your notes.
Your on the path, so keep on truckin’.