Last year was the first year that I participated in National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to pound out a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November, forgoing all editing and simply striving to create.
It’s an admirable goal, writing a novel in a month, and part of NaNoWriMo is accepting that your 30 day novel is going to suck. In fact, that’s kind of the point.
Like John Green said up there, NaNoWriMo is about not being controlled by your fear of writing something awful – that’s what your later revisions are for. Racing through your first draft might result in a draft that sucks, yes, but a crappy draft is still better than no draft at all. Writing a novel in a month is nothing if not a way to overcome the fear that you might not be able to write a novel.
Last year I knocked out my 50,000 words in only 20 days and, as promised, it was fairly awful. Anyway, I am not planning to repeat last year’s 20 day sprint through NaNoWriMo. In fact, as recently as last week I didn’t even think I was going to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo at all. But you know what? Even though it’s terrible, I kind of love that I have a complete draft of a novel that I wrote lying around in my files.
I think I’d like another.