At the begininng of Nano, I wrote a post about getting “it”–what Nano is about.
It’s about writing. Just writing for the love of it and with the abandon we deserve, the abandon to write badly, but to have written.
And I still believe that. I still believe getting into that habit of writing daily, of thinking about your story as often as you can–even when you aren’t writing, storing up those ideas like a squirrel in winter–is crucial to becoming a good writer. And I believe in not editing yourself, constantly. It’s sort of a relief to just write. So, good did come of NaNo, for me.
On the other hand, at the end, I posted a link to a Dear John letter, written to NaNo. This letter tells NaNo that just writing–without planning, or plotting, or developing your characters–makes one a “crap writer.” And I agree with that, too.
That’s part of what slowed me down, because if I didn’t take notes, I couldn’t make any worthwhile progress. I could do 1000 words in thirty minutes (after who knows how much time making notes–none if which counts in NaNo), if I had notes. Otherwise, I was writing just to be putting down words, and I’d rather not waste my writing time and, later, my editing time with this exercise in futility.
So, basically, NaNo has it’s upside and it’s downside. Pretty much like everything else. You have to find your own process while making good writing habits.