So @Geekstarter asked me on Twitter what I thought of National Novel Writing Month, and if I had ever participated. The short version is: no, I haven’t, and not out of any objection to it. I think it’s a great exercise. To me, it falls under the same category as the three-day novel contest, or anything of that nature.
I said on twitter that it’s not how I work, and that’s not strictly true- I very much work that way. Jane Espenson, one of my biggest modern inspirations, has these great little writing sprints on twitter, and it always gets my creative juices flowing. When I write, I need to shut everything else out and write (except music, I look like a good when I get lost in it and am thinking, I’m sure). So it fits very much with who I am.
Where it doesn’t, however, is schedule-wise. The Kickstarter campaign for 3024AD- series 1 starts on the 25th of September and runs through October 25. That is where I am taking a break from the shorts, and will finish the first 3024AD novel, and then start series 2 of the shorts in November. So, I’ll be doing it- but a month early.
Also- and this is not what I recommend to any writer- I do not like writing groups. Like, at all. I’ve tried a few times, and it stifled me more than it helped me. I just don’t benefit from the ‘community’ feel the way others do (Again, I don’t think it’s a bad thing- it’s great motivation for a lot of people). For as social and public as I am in many ways, my writing is very private to me. That’s the main reason I started posting the shorts- I literally had to break myself of my inclination to never, ever show it to anyone. So while that was huge for me, and a lot of fun, my contrary nature just doesn’t enjoy that kind of ‘community’ (again- this is just me).
None of this is to say I will never participate, or have no desire to- just haven’t yet, and won’t this year.
I don’t have any kind of gracious conclusion, except to say, find what works for you and do that, then find a way to do it better. As a writer- as anything, really- strive to improve and challenge yourself. I think that’s a great way to do it.