Sunday, 29 October 2017

Now is not the time to study writing...

My NaNoWriMo history
If you are a writer, your inbox has probably been inundated with emails about NaNoWriMo. Websites that sell all kinds of writing advice books that want you to buy their offerings before November. Others that offer online courses about writing just in time for November.
All of these are of course marked down by 50% or more to entice you to their websites to buy their products, to make you a better writer.
I have terrible news for you: at this late stage of the game (NaNoWriMo is three days away!) reading any writing advice books, or doing any online courses, are not going to help you. Any course or book requires time to study, time to practice what they teach you, and time for you to learn and get better at the craft of writing.
So should you just ignore these emails? Delete them without a glance? My answer is a bit different from what you might have anticipated. No, don't delete them, but don't do the work either. Huh?
Books about writing can be costly, so if you have been wondering whether or not you want to buy a book or two, I would say go for it. The prices are marked down, so now they are affordable.
If the online course allows you do buy the video course do it now as long as you can watch it later.
So why all the fuss, when I advise you not to do anything so close to the 1st of November? The answer is simple: time.
All skills take time to develop, and while it will be good for you to acquire the means to better your skills, now is not the time to do it. You simply cannot learn all there is to learn about writing in three days. Sure you can try, but what will you remember? How much will you be able to practice in time for November? The answer is not much if anything.
People place so much pressure on themselves in November to write that best-seller, because a few others have done that. The fact is, those books only became best-sellers months (or even years) after they were drafted in a NaNoWriMo challenge. That first draft is so far removed from the end product, that it might very well be unrecognisable to anyone who compares it to the published book.
So go out there and write that awful, misspelled, confused plot structured, wayward genre of fantastical characters in the medieval times, with characters cavorting with warriors dressed in kilts and wielding laser firing longbows and crystalline swords. Worry about the grammar, and the spelling and plot gaps later.
Because the one thing that November 2017 should always be in your memories nine years from now, is that it was fun. Whether the book is a national best-seller or an international movie blockbuster, at some point in your life writing has to be a pleasurable experience too, doesn't it?
Hard work it is, long hours of editing it will be, but if you don't enjoy writing the first draft, when will you have the chance to just love what you do? Write!
My writing buddy 😍
So join me on my seventh journey down the NaNoWriMo rabbit hole. Put away the books, and clear out your desks. Pour the coffee and gather your energising snacks. Dust off your writing buddies and let the words flow with glorious abandon and screaming pleasure. November is here!
You will have lots of time to study those books and watch those videos afterwards.
Let the fun begin!

💜 Linzé
PS: You can find me as Alexandra Beck on the NaNoWriMo website.