Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No NaNo!

It's that time of year again--that time when lots of crazy people who may or may not be writers all decide to attempt to write a 50,000 word book within the span of 30 days. November is National Novel Writing Month or "NaNoWriMo." How cute.

I've never participated in NaNoWriMo, and I'm only fairly certain I won't be participating in it in the future. I joke around a lot about how I'm anti-NaNoWriMo, but I'm not really. I do think it's silly, but there's nothing wrong with being silly. I often enjoy being silly. NaNoWriMo is just not my kind of silliness. If it's your kind of silliness, then have fun with that.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to start and complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I think it's an achievable goal, but I don't think that there are a lot of people that can produce quality work under such conditions. I know that no one is going to be able to produce a near-perfect work in that amount of time (that's what editing is for), but I do think that someone who dares to call him/herself a writer should be able to produce something worth reading. As someone who DOES dare to call herself a writer, it does kind of irritate me that there are people who call themselves "novelists" because they once produced a plotless 50,000 words of drivel during NaNoWriMo.

But all in all, I have nothing against NaNo. It's just something fun that some writers like to do, and I know there are some authors who have written great books during NaNo. If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know I wrote a 75,000 word book in less than two weeks (I love to gloat about this to NaNo-ers), and I think it might be one of the best things I've ever written. Good writing CAN and DOES come out of insanity.

The thing is, I WAS pretty much insane for those two weeks, just as I was when I tried to duplicate the insanity over the past three weeks when I was trying to complete another 75,000 word book (in open rebellion against NaNo). I didn't make this goal because I tried to force it. My current book was not like the book I completed in 2 weeks. That book wanted to be written; the main character wanted me to tell her story. It was an amazing, wonderful, completely insane experience. But I have discovered that I can't force it. That writing experience came and passed. I might have a similar experience in the future, but if I do, it won't be of my own volition.

I'm also just not really into this whole, "Let's all write a book in a month at the same time" sort of thing. I get it that other writers want to form NaNo support groups and all be insane together. I guess I'm more of a crazy loner than a crazy socialite. I don't do things just because it's cool to do them, nor do I really get a huge kick out of doing something that a lot of people are a part of. I'd rather do my own thing, and NaNoWriMo is not it.

Also, I have three jobs and so far November has been insane-crazy-busy. Is it only Nov. 3? Seriously? Yeah. So far in this month, I might have written a whole paragraph on my current project.

So, if you're participating in NaNo, more power to you. I hope you write fast AND well. I hope that you produce interesting characters AND a discernable plot. I hope that you find all the support you need AND find time to be alone to write write write. But as for me, I'm going to sit off in my own jokingly anti-NaNo corner and throw paperwads at you.


  1. I love your stories and your comments. It would be great if you could freelance for a newspaper. They are in need of good articles and funny stories!

  2. I do blog for the drop-in childcare center where I work. It's not really a paying gig, per se, but it's something.