Monday, 14 November 2011

Churning out the words


I never take part in NaNoWriMo, partly because I’m always working and to rack up a word count of six for November would be uninspiring for others and embarrassing for me. I find time to write when time finds me. It could be first thing in the morning, in the middle of the night, or just before bed time. I certainly don’t say to myself: “Right, let’s do one thousand words before 9am.” I work at my own pace; I always have and I never feel pressurised to look at the word count in the bottom left hand corner of the laptop.

For that reason I’m not a fan of NaNoWriMo and I never will be. I prefer to write a few chapters and revise them fully before moving on. I’m not a fan of churning out word after word just for the sake of word count. It may look great on paper if you have managed ten thousand words before November 8, but if you’re constantly shifting POV and have made many grammatical and spelling errors, then what you’ve just written is a waste of time. There are so many people who publicise their writing goals online, some really ambitious. I found one guy who pledged to write twelve thousand words per day – is he writing War And Peace Part Two?

On the other hand if it gives people inspiration to sit down and seriously put a book together for the first time in their lives, then I’m all for it.

I carried out a little experiment - thanks to Rod, we’ve had a plethora of posts about poetry recently, and it has inspired me to write an ode (well, not strictly) to Strictly. Not being a poet, nor having the talent of Shakespeare or Keats, nevertheless, I’ve decided to tackle this art form in a matter of five minutes, reaching my word count of around one hundred. So here we go (it’s all fun of course):

Strictly Writing is by far the best blog.
It’s read by every woman, man, cat and dog.
We serve the needs of the writing people
Across the nation, past the tallest church steeple.
We’re here to help and entertain with our wise words
Accompanied by pictures of pens, desks and birds.
Our readers are novelists and poets too
They write in coffee shops and even at the zoo.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword
So turn to the written word and you’ll not be bored.
Thank you to our readers who comment all day
Hip, hip, hooray to Strictly - is what I say!

(Incidentally, November/Movember is also moustache growing month aimed at raising money for charity. If you haven't the patience to write a novel, then grow a tache. Go check it out!)

5 comments:

JO said...

I agree with you about NaNo - wish the very best of luck to everyone having a go at it, but the thought of churning out words is almost guaranteed to make me word-blocked and reaching for the chocolate.

And the 'tache-thing. The very best to everyone doing that - it's a great cause. Have a technical difficulty or I'd join you.

Helen Black said...

I dunno.
I'm always working to such tight deadlines that I have to work consistently and prolifically.
Waiting for the muse to strike would end in disaster for me.

I see NaNo a bit like that - it forces folk to crack on and stop dithering.
HB x

Debs Riccio said...

I'm rubbish at Nano. It gives me the heebies. I'm an OCD editor and can't just plough on with the next bit until I'm 100 percent happy with the preceding bit. Therefore I spend a month writing a chapter... and word count? Don't get me started on word count, it brings me out in hives.

Gillian McDade said...

Debs, I work like that too, otherwise the whole book gets out of control.

Roderic Vincent said...

Ah, Gillian.