Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Social writing is bizarre

One of the strangest things about NaNoWriMo* is the fact that it takes writing, an activity that is widely considered to be very solitary, and makes it social.

Super social.

What do I mean by this? Well, NaNo is many things. One of those things involves a lot of sitting in the same room with a bunch of people and NOT talking until the latest word sprint is over. There is intensive writing going on . . . en masse. To an outsider, it probably comes off as very creepy. Hilariously enough, I didn't consider this when I told you all to do it via video chat on Monday.

Anyway, some of you might argue that writing isn't completely solitary. And you're sort of correct. There are word sprint challenges on Twitter . . . well, there are a lot of awesome writerly things on Twitter. But these kinds of things still involve you yourself being alone in a room. Or alone at a table in a coffee house. Or even alone in your head as you children through legos at each other in the next room. Whatever.

Okay, well what about writing groups? Hmm, Sarah, what about those? Well, uhh, in my (admittedly limited) experience most writing groups are about sharing work instead of composing it on the spot. But I could be wrong here.

Either way! What I'm really getting at is this: Social writing is kind of weird and I want to know what you guys think about it.

So, distracting or encouraging? Do you like how it openly involves casual writers, or do you prefer to strictly converse with hardcore writers? Is social writing good for new writers, or does it create unrealistic expectations? Tell me what you think in the comments!

*An Aside: Apparently I'm never going to shut up about NaNo. Sorry. Only not.