This morning's blog post is in response to this other blog post someone linked on my NaNo Facebook group. It poses the question about NaNo, and whether it's a great or terrible idea. Read that first, then come back here and read below. (Link should pop out into a new window, so you shouldn't have to do more than navigate some tabs!) This will be in the comments there too. Anyhoo...
I disagree with the "any old rubbish" bit as well. I cannot and will not write something I can't stand behind and be proud of. It might be ROUGH, but there's a very big difference between a rough first draft of something with a heart of gold and something made of crap just to get a word count in.
That being said, I am doing NaNo again this year. The first year I did it, I did it to get back into the habit of writing every day. I managed to win and got a pretty damn good story started. That was two years ago, and I am still not entirely done with it. I have most of it in my head but I haven't had the time (since figuring out my plot ending) to hammer it out.
Again, I won't write just any old crap, which is why my first draft is taking so long. Of course, going back, rereading, and editing as I go is another reason. So I can agree with the "let the inner editor go" bit, at least somewhat. For me that means don't go back obsessively and perfect what I have at the beginning before I've reached the end. That does not mean ignoring grammatical or spelling errors.
Last year I tried continuing that old story from 2009, and I failed miserably. Probably because I had no fracking idea where the story was going. I've since sat down and plotted it out.
THIS year, I'm using it as a tool to help me write again regularly, push myself (because I know I can do it, and I DO do this year round, when I have the time and motivation to crank out words), and get another story out that's been rattling around in my brain for a year or so.
And this year, I sat down and planned out the plot before hand. You know what? It's going much better this way! This is also my way of seeing how plotting varies from pantsing, since I've never really sat down and plotted a whole book out and made it happen. So far? I'll be doing things this way again. No question.
Any old person can crank out 50,000 words of rubbish, sure. It takes a real writer's heart to make it shine. And not everyone will have that. If you're writing for yourself, sure, crank out just anything I guess. If you're writing for just you, and you want to see if you can do it, this is the perfect time to try, because you know you have the community behind you to spur you on.
But I'm not just writing for me. I write to share, and I'm too perfectionistic about my work to let it slide. So, this book I'm working on? It will be ready to publish, but not for a long long time. Because I won't take "good enough" for an answer. (Hell, I wouldn't even post this without editing a bit, LOL)