I must admit I get a little bothered how some people beat themselves up because they’re not on pace with NaNoWriMo. I don’t like to see that. Writing is hard enough without having to go through that. I see way too many beginning writers pulling their hair out over this. I don’t think that’s good.
I understand the concept behind NaNo, but I am not convinced it helps more than it hurts new writers. I don’t view writing as a one month sprint. It’s a twelve month activity for me. I know NaNo works for some people and that’s great. It is supposed to teach dedication and concentration and force writers to finish stories and I think it does for some who respond to that sort of thing. But I also see a lot of writers denigrating themselves on Twitter and Facebook and other online venues because they are not on track to write the requisite number of words every day. Therefore, in their mind, they must be failures. That’s what they think. And that bothers me. It bothers me as a professional who works in this field and it bothers me as someone who used to teach.
We want new writers to learn and grow and adapt and prosper. Don’t we? I do. But I don’t see how throwing them into flensing knives accomplishes that goal. I guess when you get right down to it way too many writers take NaNoWriMo much too seriously. I mean, come on, guys, it’s writing. Yeah, it’s hard and difficult and frustrating and a pain….but it’s still only writing. It ain’t rocket science.
NaNoWriMo is an instrument. It may even be a valuable instrument under proper guidance. But it is not a good teaching tool.
Come on, guys. Seriously. Writing is hard enough without this. Just keep working on your story and stop slamming yourself because you’re not up to speed on NaNo. NaNo means nothing. Absolutely nothing. You don’t win anything and you don’t lose anything if you finish or if you don’t finish or if you start or stop or never even think about it at all.
Just keep writing, keep working at your craft, keep learning and keep honing your talent. Sit down and stay dedicated and finish your story. Concentrate on quantity and quality both. Stay true to the story and you will be okay. That’s what you should be concentrating on.
Focus on that and you will help your writing career much more than concentrating on some artificial word vomit exercise that carries no weight whatsoever in the real world.