By no means is this blog post meant to belittle or intentionally disrespects anyone that participates or represents National Novel Writing Month. The following thoughts are mine alone and not meant to derogate anyone.
For the last month I've heard time and time again about NaNoWriMo. Truth be told, during my time in the
writing industry, this was the first time I'd heard about it. I had no idea what it was. So I asked around. Finally getting some feedback, I was informed that NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. What this means is that writers are being challenged to write a novel or 50,000 words or more. Apparently this is being interpreted as a proactive challenge, and supposedly promotes writers to write more, and even complete something that they'd been procrastinating in or putting off.
My first thought?
WHAT? How is that supposed to work? How do you challenge a writer to write? Writing should come naturally, not forcefully.
Instantly I found myself overwhelmed in thought. Following are the things that I concluded.
Being that I've always been the person who thinks outside the box—I've never been one to submit to the status quo—I've never really believed in the whole “word count theory” to begin with.
A writer should write what's in their hearts and minds not worrying about a quota of words.
Let's look at it from a different angle, shall we:
Do you really think that a reader grabs a book, looks at it and says to him/herself, “Boy, if this book isn't exactly 50,000 words, I'm tossing out the window!”?
No. Of course not. The reader looks at the book, and if it peaks his/her curiosity, they read it. Period. Word count matters very little to readers as long as the book maintains their interest.
I don't know about anyone else—it could very well just be me—but I need to be in a creative mood in order to be, well... creative! It's an energy thing. If you're feeling down, sick, unnerved, tension or stress of any kind, chances are that you're not feeling very imaginative energy. It's like trying to mix oil and water. They simply do not go together.
Here's the deal. If you're not feeling artistic then how do you intend on producing an interesting story/book?
You ever read a book and think to yourself, “WHY in God's name does this book have so many useless
Come on, let's be honest! I know I have before.
Let's be even more honest. What do you think happens when you're not in a creative writing mood, yet you feel forced to produce a certain amount of words because you've committed yourself to a project such as the previously mentioned?
What, you ask? Easy. You write aimless, unnecessary words back to back to back.
John found himself in the utter necessity to go rid himself of such a foul, putrid and tasteless object such as the two wheeled instrument that was before him at this very moment. Oh, how he despised that object. Loathing consumed him with utter despair until he could do nothing else, but toss it into the abyss.
John hated his bike, so he threw it out.
Writing, in general, should never feel forced. If you feel obligated to do something because you've committed yourself to a project, then pressure may inhibit your talent. It could very well produce writers’ block.
Think of it this way:
When you were little your mother probably forced your to eat your veggies. What happened? When she wasn't looking you fed the veggies to the dog. Why? Because you couldn't be forced into eating them. Her insistence merely made you like them less.
Feeling forced leads to two things:
1. Growing hatred towards something that you may have potentially loved, or
2. Growing insecure and weary of said thing.
You have to want to do it on your own.
Just like eating your veggies.
Now, with all that being said, some people may need the structure. Some people really need to have some sort of discipleship in order to get things done. However, if you're anything like me, it simply ain’t happening buddy.