It’s About Quantity, Not Quality

October 18th, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

For some, November revolves around food; for others, it revolves around the keyboard. You can tell who’s who by their approach to the Internet. Foodies search for a way to make green beans, mushroom soup, and little fried onions palatable. Writers obsessively check in at the National Novel Writing Month website.

We’ll let the NaNoWriMo folks explain it


National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over talent and craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

After all, you can do a turkey any old year.

Since there was some difficulty with the other link, this one might be more effective:

File Under: Square Pegs · Tools and Craft

2 responses so far ↓

  • Susan Gable // Oct 18, 2004 at 11:05 am

    The link doesn’t work! I would love to try this. My internal/infernal editor trips me up all the time. I have a really hard time letting myself have permission to go ahead and write crap, which we know can be fixed and is therefore better than the blank page.

  • Ellen // Oct 18, 2004 at 2:14 pm

    This will be my third year doing NaNo. It’s great fun.