Writing isn’t about the process. It’s about creating. The joy comes not from the process but from the creation – Harlan Coben


November is National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo as it’s generally referred to. A goal of 50,000 words to write in a 30 day time span. For those who sign up, it seems to become pretty all-consuming and there’s a palpable sense of pride and achievement as the month progresses. After all, it’s a heck of a goal to achieve and it means that you have at least the outline of a book actually down on paper, no more prevaricating.

At the same time there are plenty of nay-sayers to the process. Those who point out that if the writing is dross 50,000 words of it is still dross just a lot more of it. People who believe that slow and steady is the way to go.

And in the third camp are those who don’t have a problem with the idea in principle but aren’t great with team sports. November is a bad month for them, the word count is too short to properly edit down afterwards etc. Just not for them thanks.

Now to me what this shows is that we all have our own preferred ways of working. Having a goal, having thousands of other people working towards the same goal and providing support along the way, is the perfect impetus for some. Careful solitary drafting and crafting, deep research and a first draft that’s close to final, works for just as many. And then there are people like me who aren’t that great with rules and feeling pushed into things, those who prefer to work at their own pace to their own timetable – which may be 50,000 words in the 30 days of April.

It’s a thing to celebrate that writing allows everybody to create in their own way. So the best of luck to all of us on that creative journey.

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