Writing Styles: The Tortoise and the Hare

It's almost NaNoWriMo time, folks.

I've done NaNoWriMo before. It's intense--by design. 50,000 words in a single month. For perspective, it took me about two years to write the 70,000 words of my novel in progress. To make it to the finish line, you've got to crank it out at a pace of 1666 words a day.

You've got to write for speed. You've got to write like you're racing. You've got to be a hare.

nanowrimo, writing styles

For some people, this kind of kick is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Some people are really good at cranking out those words--Chuck Wendig has said he writes 3,000 words every day. Others function better under the pressure of a deadline, or simply require external motivation to get that pen to paper.

For those people, NaNoWriMo is a great tool.

But there's other people NaNoWriMo is NOT for. 

If you're writing pace is slower. If you're an independent worker. If you can't sit and focus for five hours at a time. If you can't put the rest of your life on pause for 30 days.

Me, for example. I'm more the slow-and-steady type. I'm a tortoise. 

nanowrimo, writing stylesIn theory, I love the NaNoWriMo concept. I might even try it again sometime if it lined up right with a time I was trying to kickstart a new project.

But disrupting everything else to focus solely on a new novel for that long a period just doesn't work for me. So if I do try it again, I'm going to play by my own rules this time--set my own goals instead of doing the official NaNoWriMo 50,000-word sprint.

I highly recommend this kind of self-catering. In fact, as writer or any kind of creative, knowing your work style is the most powerful thing you can do. 

So tell me … how do you work best? 

PS--For those who want to set their own parameters but still enjoy the support and accountability of a community, a lesser known but great alternative to NaNoWriMo is A Round of Words in 80 Days.

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Photos by Mike Rae and Dave Taylor

Emily Wenstrom | Read more at Creative Juicer | Follow me on Twitter

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