Another Month Gone

2015 is rapidly coming to a close. And the bloggity here is going with it. I barely started reading posts on here again within the last two or three days. It isn’t that I’m not interested, it’s that in the mornings I’m either sleeping or getting ready for work. And at night I’m usually watching a TV show or basketball game. But I’m just making excuses. I read a bunch of posts last night. And hopefully I will before bed tonight too. All I can do is try. Anyway, let’s talk about November stats.

Posts: 30

Likes: 458

Comments: 418

Followers: 3255

Books Read: 0

Poems: 0

YouTube Videos: 0

Welp. Lows across the board. Of course. Basically what I’ve come to expect at this point. My girlfriend says it best. I’m still on WordPress quite a bit, but I’m not really into it. *sad face* I’m trying, guys.

The one interesting thing that came out of November is that I’m thinking of doing one of two things. Maybe both. I’m thinking of reviving my sports blog OR turning that into a YouTube channel. Probably doesn’t make much sense, but the reason I don’t make more videos on my current channel is because I need to be reading something in order to make a video. Whereas in sports there is ALWAYS something for me to talk about. Always. I guess we’ll see.  Now for some posts.

Top Post

A NaNo Alternative

Favorite Post

What I Learned From Katniss Everdeen

Post you may Have Missed

Saturday Selects #21: My problem with football

No surprise about the top post this month. NaNo is something people are always interested in reading about, and I think I wrote a handful of posts against it in November. Yikes. I’m crazy. Hm. What else? The Hunger Games movies ended for me, which means the series is officially over. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little saddened by this. I love Katniss and that series so much. More than I’ll likely enjoy any series ever again. And it’s over. Maybe one day I’ll go against my rereading rule and reread those three books. Wouldn’t hurt to relive the rebellion with Katniss once again. Wouldn’t hurt at all.

So that’s it. My month in a tiny nutshell. How was your November?

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November is Over

No, this isn’t my monthly recap post. It’s a little different. November being over also signifies the end of NaNo. Finally.

Now most of the people who rave about the “community” will see how they’ve got it all wrong. Sure some might stay interested in your project, but it likely won’t be too many. Because why would they? They’re going to self-publish soon. Or continue working on their own project. Or they won’t be “writing” much more for the time being. So why would they stay interested in your project when it’s no longer cool? They won’t.

And so many of the NaNo participants will finally shut up about how great NaNo is until Camp NaNo in whichever month. Thank goodness.

A High School Teacher has Students Participate in NaNo

Wait, what?

I just read that a teacher in Virginia at a Catholic school had his students participate in NaNo this month. Their goal was 30,000 words rather than the 50,000 most aim for.

I understand that private schools don’t have to necessarily cover all the same topics as public schools, but I find this to be a bit much. Class time has likely been used for it. And it’s impossible for him to give any kind of substantive feedback with the time crunch.

Obviously he figured this would help them improve their writing skills, but I disagree. Why not instead focus on writing throughout the month? Poetry. Short stories. Maybe a short nonfiction essay? I just don’t think this is the best way to really help high school students improve their writing. And I don’t think it’s a good use of the time he has with them.

What do you think?

Coloring Books are Everywhere

I wrote earlier this week about Crayola on the verge of releasing their own adult coloring books. Now I have even more to share about those pesky little things.

They’re everywhere. They’re taking over everything. At my store there are quite a few. There’s a Frozen one. Disney princesses. Game of Thrones. Star Wars. Secret Garden. Lost Ocean. I’ve probably forgotten some. But it’s a little ridiculous. Not that we’re selling them, but that people are so fast to be a part of something trendy. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same people who do NaNo also buy these coloring books.

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?

A NaNo Lesson

I’m pretty sure y’all know I’m not a fan of NaNo. Not at all. I don’t see any positives from it. But I just read something that I wanted to share.

Last year a seventh grade girl wrote a first draft of her first book during NaNo. That’s cool, right? Plenty of people do the exact same thing and a short while later they put the book on Amazon or Smashwords thinking it’s ready to see the light of day. And mostly they’re wrong and it isn’t.

Now back to the seventh grade girl. She edited and rewrote for a year. Am I sitting here telling you that her book is a literary masterpiece or even decent? No. Cause I haven’t read it. But at least this young girl knew better than to just throw up some rough NaNo novel online for people to buy. Maybe other participants can learn a thing or two from this girl. What do you think?

On Writing Sprints

Do you know what these are? Quick explanation. The clock hits 12:30. You start writing and don’t stop until 1:00. Something like that. They’re just another tool that people use to force themselves to write. Which I think is stupid.

I’ve never participated in one of these, but when I used to follow some writers on Twitter I’d always see them on my TL. But I unfollowed those people long ago. Thankfully. Writing sprints remind me a little of NaNo. You know, that month in which people try writing 50,000 words of crap? These are just on a lower level.

I’ve said this more times than I can possibly remember, but I don’t understand why everyone is in such a rush. One guy told me before that he rushed to write and publish his book because he was already in his 70s. Okay. There’s someone with a valid reason, but all these other people have none. Yet they still take part in NaNo every year and probably do these stupid writing sprints every Friday. All while writing a below average book.

What’s your take on writing sprints?