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Another #tober!

#Preptober is the October practice of daily preparation for National Novel Writing Month.

Merchandise poster from the Nanowrimo.org site

It’s Oct. 22, so I don’t think I’ll be taking on another daily task. I’ve been steadily blogging and drawing along with #blogtober and #inktober respectively, and have dipped my toe in the #flashtober waters. #Preptober is seemingly well-established thing, but this is the first I’m hearing of it.

National Novel Writing Month, or NanoWriMo, is a phenomenon in itself. It’s an online writing community that gathers in November every year to support each other while each member individually writes 50,000 words in one month. It started out as a small group online and has grown into a worldwide thing. Local groups meet in person. There’s forums online. Merch. (I buy t-shirts frequently). Hardly any traditionally published books begin at NanoWriMo. The point is learning how to silence the “inner editor” and just brute force your muse into producing. There is use to this. But for me the 1776/7 words a day just doesn’t hold the appeal it once did. I know I can do it, because I did it one year. I don’t want to write that way again. I’d rather work on plotting and deliberate, polished editing and rewriting now.

One thing I’m learning from #inktober is this: drawing and drawing and drawing only gets you so far. Your skills won’t improve (or will improve at a snail’s pace) without some sort of instruction. You need feedback from quality teachers, and most of all, guided practice. I’m out here on my own drawing and nothing is improving. Writing and writing on one’s own is very similar. I’m not improving. I probably need what’s called a “developmental editor” but those services cost thousands. The other way to learn is to go grass roots. If I wanted to improve my drawing skills, I could search out one-off lessons I can afford, or ask a talented friend to teach me. I could pick up instructional books and watch good videos online. Eventually, though, I will have to get feedback from others.

I’m not sure yet how I’ll do this with my writing. I have plenty of writing books. There are plenty of courses online. None seem to fit my specific need. Right now I need plot instructions, not writing help.

Anyway. #preptober. It’s a great idea. I do love having daily assignments, and maybe preparing a list of them isn’t such a bad idea. … I may try it. Stay tuned.