Words in a Physical World

WRITING WEDNESDAY: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is happening this month and a group of mystery writers, some of them published, have jumped in. I’m more in the wading pool–writing, too, but not at the same volume of words that NaNoWriMo reguires. The daily goal is 1,660 words so by the end of month each successful participant will have a short novel of 50,000 words. Critics have disparaged this process, saying that it will only lead to badly written sludge. Others have found it extremely helpful to be part of a community to cheer and push them on. For me as an introvert and private in some ways, I’m reluctant to post my creative project on the NaNoWriMo website. For me, a better alternative is to share my writing progress with a much smaller and trusted group of colleagues.

I don’t like the standard word count because it doesn’t take in account life, research and basically brainstorming and connecting. But sometimes, admittedly, I can submerge myself in the formless aspects of writing stories without actually putting many words on the computer screen and paper. So NaNoWriMo, just like my half-marathon running schedule (I don’t do these anymore!), give tangible daily goals so by the time you really run the race, you’ll be ready and not blindsided.

If you need an outside push, maybe instead of NaNoWriMo, you can find some other writers who can hold you accountable to your creative goals. That way you won’t be floating away in your imagination, but also aware that something tangible needs to be left in the physical world.

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