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Celebrating the end of NaNoWriMo

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The Curious Cat Blog is all about writing, for writers, by a writer.


Celebrating the end of NaNoWriMo

Carina Sitkus

I'm marking the end of NaNoWrimo in the same way I marked its beginning: with a Narativ podcast. 

You can listen to the full interview below. In it I share why I didn't win and my takeaways about what I've learned. 

The book I referenced is called Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd (thanks for the recommendation, Sue!). There's a great chapter on editing and why it's important to get stuff down on paper.

I thought the passage below was particularly relevant for explaining the rationale behind the craziness of writing 1,667 words every day for one month:

In our practice every book has seasons. After research comes the rough draft, the season that I dread. Once, long ago, I set out after dinner to begin an article for The Atlantic and looked up to see daylight moving across the floor littered with crumpled balls of paper, at least a hundred versions of the article’s opening sentence. For a time, I insisted that the first sentence be perfect before going on, and therefore spent whole days and nights going nowhere. This sort of thing happened often enough to make me fear it. So I abandoned care entirely when writing rough drafts. Instead, I wrote fast. I would spend a day or two in reverie over my material, then scratch out a sort of plan, not even an outline but just a list of events, and then churn out pages as quickly as I could. Writing as fast as possible would prevent remorse for having written badly...

And anything I wrote that way, I found, was easier to throw away than stuff I’d labored over.
— Tracy Kidder


Many congrats to those of you who made it through this month, and cheers to another NaNoWriMo in the books!

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