Why I like things like NaNoWriMo and Inktober
I've just signed up for my very first NaNoWriMo because I've felt blocked by my need for my book to be great. It's time to just get it done now. Like your first book, it's also been 10 years in the making.
Hi. I've completed two NaNos, and like you, they taught me a whole bunch of things. I agree that they are a good way to find out what you like, what you don't like, and also to try loads of new things. I've also done many time limited art challenges (from year long 365 projects, to 100 days, to 52 weeks and 61 days) and have found them hugely beneficial. One of the art challenges I've done three times, has led me down my current path of creating art maps and writing stories about them here in substack!
Made it through NaNo for the first time in 2014 when I was 15. It showed me I could push way past my self-proscribed imaginative limits. It’s def a “temporary” power up as far as word count, but I think the lingering effects have been permanent for me!
Agree with your thoughts on paid, even though it's clearly counter intuitive, that's why so many Substack writers struggle with the decision.
On the other hand, some who have hundreds of thousands of paid subscribers have all substantial content and/or comments behind a paywall. I figure they can do without me, and I can get by without them. 😁
Then there are the smaller successful stacks who go with a hybrid model. That works for them.
For fiction, and broadly writing encouragement content, I think people pay when they're able to, and because they see the value in supporting writers. It's not any more complicated.
I'm of the firm view that all fiction writers with a regular posting schedule should have paid options available. They shouldn't be treating that as a decision.
Hey Simon, thanks for mentioning my newsletter issue. About your quote: "the reason so few of us writers make any money from our work is because we do so much for free. It’s a classic catch-22." I want to be read, being paid would be great, but with so much of content being gated these days I'm conflicted. As a reader, I know it's tough to support every author out there. I wish there was a micro-payment system where we can pay per article in an easy way. Medium, for its flaws, at least allow me to read many authors for a fixed fee each month. However, this could unfairly subject Substack writers to algorithmic rules.
Not sure how to fix this either.
Wow! Never heard of Mermay! So cool!