I posted a couple months back about my experience with NaNoWriMo, and how it works well for some writers, and pretty terribly for others. In his post, Lincoln identifies a key problem with the popular (Twitter) discourse around writing that goes hand-in-hand with NaNoWriMo: the tendency to obsess over quantity of output instead of the end result.
This is a problem we see in business all the time: when useful metrics are hard to find or hard to measure, managers will often try to measure bad metrics, and workers will optimize to excel at those metrics rather than trying to get the best results.
But the general attitude is one I see all the time. Writers are often less comfortable talking about aesthetics than productivity. They’ll brag about the years they worked on something or the number of drafts they’ve done. It’s as if they aren’t making art but operating a plastic pellet factory. “Check out this optimized output!” And I get it. Art is hard to talk about.
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