This is an event that I thoroughly enjoy. It’s a great challenge, but more importantly it’s a motivator. It gets those old projects done. That motivation is a wonderful thing for writers. Starting projects is easy. Getting worn out on an idea part-way through is even easier.
But what’s the value of finishing a project? Lots of projects are not meant for sale. That’s a sad truth of writing. But with all art, they have a place. With writing one of the most important places for work is as practice. You’ve got to stay sharp and you’ve got to learn your style. And once you’ve learned that, you’ve got to try to branch out and perfect a different one. That takes practice. Writing is not like baseball, though. You can hit a hundred balls to get better at knocking the next one out of the park, but how many books can you write?
This is great, and I support the month well for this, but the more involved writers will notice the poor wording in my first paragraph. You never finish a project in NaNoWriMo. The dirty little secret is that you can never finish a project by writing. Writing is just the beginning. It’s barely a first step. All the motivation in the world to write won’t help you finish your project, and starting on a new one is a step in the wrong direction.
I’m writing this because we need a national novel editing, proofreading, rewriting, layout, illustration, and publishing month. The real barricades that stand between a first draft and a printed book are frustrating. This is where we need motivation. More importantly, this is where people need a leg up. Starting out as a writer, you’re never going to know all the steps that you need before really having a finished project. You won’t realize that you really need a “national editing” month, or “national update my layout files to fit the new printer’s requirements” month, or the “save up money to order the first print and go peddle it at a flea market” month.
This month I plan on taking out a big chunk of the writing left in the game manual for Woods of Edir. But the more important things this month are to keep this blog up to date, get some fun activities together for the followers, format more material for release on DriveThruRpg, rewrite the first chapter of the next novella, Children of Edir, and most importantly finish the print on demand formatting for Timeless and Creatures!
So I’m encouraging people who have already written projects to use this month to proof read and do content editing. Read the story out loud to your kids at bed time all month. Write some blog posts and do some advertising of your finished product. Writing is not the only thing that you can do for your creativity. So be inspired and get your work out there.
I’ll leave everyone with a fabulous animation that tells it like it is: