Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNo and Fun

Oh yes, only hours to go now for me before NaNo starts.  I have everything ready, I think.  I need to sit the Scrivener file up yet, but that shouldn't take much. I believe I might use the same project as I did for Raventower 1, and simply move that manuscript down into an area that no longer gets counted in the word count.  That way, I have all the original notes and character material on hand and can still do a 'search' if there is something that I can't remember.

NaNo should be fun.  A lot of people take this little intellectual marathon far too seriously and think if they don't 'win' they have failed as a writer -- which seems to mean that anyone who has never done NaNo at all can't be a writer, either.  You can see how silly that is.  Some people do well during November (me! me!) and others find that it simply doesn't suit them.

Some people make this far more work than it needs to be.  Just remember that you are working on a first draft.    Have fun with it. Experiment.  change POV in the middle of the novel if you suddenly think something else will work better.  It will be a pain to edit later, but here is something to remember, too:

The only story you can't fix is the one you never write.

We worry too much about this because so many people see writing as simply a waste of time and many people feel that they have to defend their work, NaNo or otherwise.

I suspect that during the early growth of the Industrial Age, people began to judge any work in the arts on something like a Puritan ideal.  To be counted as real work, a person must sweat and labor, and in general be miserable.  If you don't meet these requirements, and especially if you enjoy what you do, then it cannot be real work -- well, at least not until you start making a lot of money at it.  Money apparently wipes out the stigma of actually enjoying your job.

The second problem with this is that it means a lot of new writers won't allow themselves to enjoy the fantastic fun of writing a story.  Everything has to be miserable, filled with angst, and probably a lot more complicated than it needs to be.  They mistakenly believe that if what they are doing isn't miserable, then it's not real work, and no one will take them seriously.

Writing is hard, but that doesn't mean there can't be joy and fun in it, too.  There are times to get annoyed and frustrated that the writing is not going the way you want.  NaNo is fun.  NaNo is a leap into writing without worries.  If you can adopt that attitude, you are more likely to have fun and you might surprise yourself with what you have written by December 1.

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