Just when you think it’s safe to get back in the murky blue waters of the Facebook NaNo group; just when you’re thinking that folk cannot get any more manic or driven, along comes the phenomenon of ‘rapid release‘. I’d never heard of this but it’s basically the triathlon of writing: instead of writing one novel in a month you write three in three months and edit and then release them!!!This is a self-publishing phenomenon linked to Amazon (reason enough on its own to avoid it) but am I alone in thinking it’s bananas? When I’ve finished NaNo I need a complete break from novel writing and the thing I’ve produced needs to gestate for a while. I sometimes wonder about where our culture has got to: I used to think running a marathon was bizarre and inexplicable, yet now we have quite ordinary people running triathlons. But even that’s not enough and so you find otherwise totally benign and inoffensive folk signing up to do Iron Man (or Woman) challenges. Am I the only person in the world to howl Why???????????????? I simply don’t understand the urge to do crazier and crazier things to your body. And I can’t help thinking that it’s all just a little bit Driven.
We seem more and more to make a virtue out of this nowadays. If you’re not producing, you’re nothing. And enough is never enough; we must set harder and harder challenges. Run further, swim the channel backwards and upside down because swimming it normally is not enough. Run a marathon in high heels and an evening gown. Do something different! Prove yourself!!! Isn’t that the goal? If you’re not baking the most extraordinary cake ever or dancing the best dance or pushing your mind and body beyond their ordinary limits, you basically don’t exist. It’s capitalism gone mad.
Back to writing, and the same phenomenon is infecting Nanowrimers, who are proposing to get up at 3 am to write or to set themselves a 70K challenge or – or to do the ‘rapid release’ thing because when you do that you maximise the – what is it, SEO? Search Engine something – in other words, you get more hits. More attention. Which is what it’s all about.I’m not against dedication to your art but there must be balance, there must be rest. Nothing in nature produces without resting, so do your 50 K (or whatever you can) and be satisfied.