Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

At least I’m writing. That’s about all I can say for today’s output.

But that’s how we get there, right? One word at a time. That’s what NaNo is all about–show up every day and write, and eventually, you have a novel. It’s magic.

But! you say. I’ll still have to edit! And revise!

That may be. Or it may not.

I say, you’ll still have a novel.

Via “The Passive Voice” (my source for many interesting things), I heard about this article from The Boston Globe about Rewriting (one of my favorite subjects, because the first time I wrote a novel I pretty much re-wrote it five times–and I’m not sure I made it better). The history of rewriting is fascinating, and in retrospect, obvious:

We (writers) didn’t always do it.

Hence, it’s not a requirement of great writing.

“It’s easy to assume that history’s greatest authors have been history’s greatest revisers. But that wasn’t always how it worked.”

The reasons for this culture of revision are complex, and certainly not all bad. But when did revision become as important as inspiration? Part of it is simply business:

“We can’t teach you how to write, but we can teach you how to revise.’ And it’s a big business.”

This month, I’m going to shed my fears of imperfection. I’m going to learn to write paragraphs where I leavfe in typos (see how I did that) and don’t stare endlessly at the screen trying to come up with the (insert perfect word here ) word.

And then when I’m done, I’ll edit. But if I did it right the first time, I shouldn’t have to totally re-write. The risk of re-writing (as opposed to editing) is ending up with something so edited it doesn’t have any life left in it.

This time around, I’m going to trust my instincts.

1,075 words in and counting.

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