I’m 30K into nanowrimo as I write this – I take days off here and there, and I did come down with a cold that mostly sucked my energy. I’m one of those writers that can’t write when I’m sick, or can only write minimally. That creative energy needs to go to healing work, after all.
The process has been enlightening. I can totally do 1700 words a day; it’s taken me a few years to build up to that, but now in terms of writing-fitness that many “reps” on a single project is pretty reasonable. I’ve also come to deeply appreciate that the “writing 24/7” idea is impossible – I need to feed my head. By that I does not mean acid-rock style head feeding. It means I need to get out and interact with humanity from time to time, and go see the artistic creations of others, and the creations of nature. It builds the place within that leaves me free to write. It fills a well. It matters, a lot.
So, in coming to understand the true value of #nanowrimo, I have also come to this epiphany about writing, and redrafts. It’s helping me understand my entire process.
Draft 1: I write for myself, and myself only.
Draft 2: I write for my intended audience.
Draft 3: I write for any editors, publishers, or beta readers/workshop feedback givers.
Draft 4: I write for my audience again.
Draft 5: I write for myself again.
Ideally, the end product packages and expresses my core vision in a way that people are able to well-receive it. That first draft is crucial, and it is also crucial that I not share it with anyone until I’m done. It’s about my time, and what I want to say. I will worry about what other people can receive in later drafts.