NaNoWriMo: I dunno

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has been around for a good while. I’ve known a lot of people who participate and like the process. That is, you sign up to participate and  try to write a whole novel in a month.

First, anything that actually motivates you to write is a fine idea, but I hope people go into this knowing that the exercise is its own reward. You will not produce a publishable novel in a month.

More important: I hope that people keep writing once the month is over. Or really, the effort may not be worth the return.

Finally, I worry that for writers who have little understanding of the mechanics of fiction writing this process might do more harm than good. The very idea of rushing through makes me nervous. So it’s not for me, but it may be for you.

Illustration: Livingstone’s 1871 field diary

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