Sunday, November 07, 2010

Why I like NaNo

There is certainly a lot of negative commentary on the National Novel Writing Month coming out in the blogosphere this month. Here is my rebuttal to all the negativity:

 I like NaNo for three reasons:

1) I am one of those writers that suffers from a particularly b!$chy inner editor. If I let her she will correct line-by-line. Every word must be poetry or it gets backspaced. The goals established by NaNo require me to push her away and accept a 'good-enough for now word' in order to get the story out. After NaNo, I take a one month break to enjoy the holidays and the feeling of accomplishment and then spend months re-writing and honing the work.

2) Because NaNo has a great public profile it is an easy excuse to get my family, circle of friends, and even strangers on board to enable the focus on writing. For the rest of the year I fight the 'you are at home - you must have time to do XYZ for me' misunderstanding. NaNo gives me a very public and therefore provable reason that I am not available to do that extra laundry, watch your cats or take the car to the shop. For this one month every year I am free to indulge in all the writing time I need without explanations or compromises.

For the record I never really get involved in the silliness - the forums, the monkeys vs octupi etc. I do attend a few local write-ins as you must get out of the house occasionally and I do print the certificates at the end to place with the completed draft of the novel.

3) My final reason why I think that NaNo is a good thing - the Young Writer's Program. There are numerous kids that get exposed to writing through NaNo and in my book, anything that encourages literacy (be it reading or writing) is worthy of support!


Doug Hagler said...

With all due respect to strangers I haven't met, I think that people who are down on NaNoWriMo are kind of morons. Writers write. You don't like how another writer writes? Who cares? Write the way you want to and don't be a jerk.

Not only do writers write, writers read. All the thousands of crappy novels we're all producing this month are just encouraging us to read more books, to work on getting better at what we do, etc. The more writers there are, the more readers there are for the books that are good and that do deserve to sell. The more literate people there are out there who care about the written word, even if all they do is write one short 'novel' in November.

What reason is there to be down on that? If November was National Football Practice Month, do you think football players and coaches would be complaining? Of course not.

I'm sorry, I just don't have much patience for douchebaggery like this, and I'm glad none of the blogs I read have been complaining about NaNo. If you don't like the idea, don't do it.

Aric Clark said...

Honestly, I think the article on Salon was all about page counts. How many people are doing Nano this year? It was first-class trolling is what it was. And everybody fed the troll.