NaNoWriMo is Coming! But Why Write a Book in a Month?

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Sheri Hoyte
Managing Editor

NaNoWriMo 2019 is coming, and the results from last year’s event are staggering!  According to The NaNoWriMo Blog, there were 287,327 participants and 35,387 winners. The number of words written in November 2018 was 2,791,454,312 and those starting novels wrote an average of 22,871 words!

At the risk of sounding like a skeptic, I have to ask – why would you want to write a book in a month? There are positives about the whole NaNoWriMo experience, of course, and I’ll list those first:

  • If you don’t have a writing routine, NaNoWriMo can set the stage for a steady practice. 
  • For at least one month you will be focused on a single task. (Multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either, but that’s another topic altogether).
  • If you sign up to participate in the official event on the NaNoWriMo website you will have the support of thousands of like-minded individuals to help you through the “stuck” times.

Of course, we’ve all heard the saying that “everyone has a book in them” and, as a result of technology and the ever-expanding self-publishing market, there are more people than ever writing those books.  It’s a beautiful thing.  However, it’s starting to feel like a divided camp with basically two groups of writers nowadays: The ones who spit out books as fast as they can in a race to make money, and those who following a quality-product process as they work on improving their skills with each book. Of course, there are always those exceptions, you know – the people who are able to write both quality and quantity in equal measures.  If you are one of those people, I applaud you.  For everyone else, here are a few thoughts on why you should not write a book in a month.

  • Creativity and storytelling can’t be timed. I have interviewed many authors about their own processes, and the general consensus is that once they sit down to write, time disappears. Everyone’s different, and thus their timing is not the same when it comes to completing the first draft, but those who are doing what they love doing submerge themselves in their process, their story, and their characters. Not only do they take their time in the creation process, they take time researching, writing, and playing with words, sentences, and punctuation to find the best way to show the reader the story they have created.
  • The production process can’t be rushed. All authors who take their writing serious will agree with this one. How can you produce a quality product without going through a bunch of rewrites, professional editing, and infinite proofreading before and after the book designing and formatting process! Publishing digital or print, the production of a book to be purchased and read by an audience should never be cut short as this process is critical to the success or failure of the title.
  • Finally, writers are also readers and most readers do not speed read their books. Rather, we like to savor the experience, going through the storyline as it flows from one word to the next, identifying with the characters, and deciphering the author’s message as we journey inside his or her mind through the printed words. How can readers possibly savor stories written in haste?

There are many more pros and cons to writing a book in a month and I’d love to hear your thoughts.  The bottom line is to do whatever works best for you.  For information on how we promote indie authors visit us at www.readerviews.com.

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