What we can learn from… NaNoWriMo

It’s November which means that the internet is a quiet, eary place. Where once there was mindless chatter there is only dedicated silence with the¬†occasional¬†cry of “Another thousand done” or “What IS the collective noun for bee hives”

It’s NaNoWriMo time – National Novel Writing Month – that one month of the year where hungreds of thousands of people sit down to churn out a 50,000 word novel in November.

And a supprising number of people manage it, and here’s why. The philosphy of NaNoWriMo is to just get the words out, get the story told, write, write, write – don’t edit, you can do that later, just keep going. You don’t even need a plot.

Or in other words, stop shilly-shallying and just get on with it

And it’s liberating – my novel just had a few hundred word rant about elbow patches on tweed jackets (why!?) – it felt good. The creative dam was broken and before I knew it, several chapters had flown from my fingertips onto Textpad (oh how I love thee).

And then I got side tracked…

You may have gathered that I have a couple of Web Apps that I would like to sit down and work on but until recently they had only been in my mind, nothing had happened.

My first road block – I felt I should be useing a framework but I was reluctant to sit down and learn the behometh that is Zend but if that’s the framework that work has adopted learning something else may not be productive. And so it went on, round and round in my head, excuse after excuse and nothing got written.

Until last week – my novel lies abandoned, we may never know what Cameron and Jake were building inside that mysterious research centre, or why Alice the coffee girl dispised Gerald so much but they served their purpose, they broke the dam in my mind, the wall between me and just getting on with what I needed to do.

So dear readers, here is my NaNpoWriMo inspired advice, stop thinking, just develop – you can polish later but just start. Once you start you KNOW you wont be able to put it down, you will keep developing, refining, improving but as long as you keep to the matra of just powering though you may actually end up with an application that functions rather than just a slice of pie in the sky.


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