What’s up with writers just sitting down and blasting out 50,000 words as fast they can? And is that ass-to-chair time ‘well spent’?

EVERY NOVEMBER, a large group of people (there were more than 100,000 in 2007) who have signed up with NaNoWriMo begin writing with the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The program website states:

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

It would be easy to make fun of this if I didn’t think it would actually be kind of fun to try (if I had time), and I didn’t believe there were benefits to just ‘dump it all out’ style writing where you don’t think but just type.

Questions:

*Has anyone at Matador or from elsewhere participated at NaNoWrMo? What was your experience?

*Is anyone interested in trying this year?

*What benefits are there to just sitting down and ‘freewriting’?

Please give your answers in the comments section below.

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For more info on NaNoWriMo, check their site here.

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