A NaNo Alternative

During November there is a lot of writing going on. Some good, some bad, and some writing is so terrible that the author’s mom wouldn’t even like it. But still people rush to participate in NaNo every year.

The only alternative that I’ve seen gain any traction online is people blogging each day of the month. Even though the two really have nothing to do with each other. I have a better idea. Why not study the craft and see how much you can learn about writing? Instead of spending the month working on something that is most likely years away from being ready for the eyes of an agent or self publishing, why not just try to become a little tiny bit better?

Read some writing books. See if you can learn about the writing process of some of your favorite authors. Heck, even taking James Patterson’s class on becoming a bestseller would probably give you a good amount of information. NaNo doesn’t.

People talk about it like it’s some great community. Or like it’s something to get better. But no. No one actually gives a damn about your writing. Why would they? They have no stake in it. And NaNo surely isn’t a means to improve your writing. Still just a gimmick.

What do you think about using the month to study the craft a bit and perhaps just gain a little knowledge rather than trying to get as many words written as possible?

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How Many Writers do you Know?

I just read the headline of some online article that writing is a dying craft. Or something of the sort. And now I’m writing this post.

See, I know there are way too many writers out there for any one person to be aware of. I couldn’t tell you if there are ten million writers in America or half of one million. It’s impossible to know. And I don’t want to know. But I think it is interesting to think of how many I know.

Let me think about this for a second. I won’t include any of you from WordPress because at the end of the day I’m not sure I really “know” any of you. Maybe you feel differently. Anyway, I think the number of writers I know who are not known to me because of WordPress sits at one. Ha. I bet you thought it would be none. But it’s one. A co-worker of mine (I think) is currently working on a book. He’s told me all about it countless times. He’s told me about his characters, his chapter titles (cause he uses them), and his process. But that’s it. There’s no one else.

But I know many of y’all have writing groups and book clubs full of writers and all kinds of things that have enabled you to know and meet writers on some kind of regular basis. I just haven’t had the same opportunities as of yet. But I also don’t claim to be representative of the population at large.

So tell me how many writers you know. And I’ll let you decide whether or not you want to include people from the World Wide Web. Also, do you think writing is a dying art? I don’t. I think it’s evolving like everything else.