NaNoWriMo Ramblings

I hate National Novel Writing Month. Hate isn’t really strong enough. I loathe and abhor it. The whole concept flies in the face of my strongest convictions about the craft of writing. First and foremost, you shouldn’t need a cheap, bullshit gimmick to motivate you to work. If you don’t have the internal motivations, you shouldn’t try to write a book in the first place.

I also despise the whole rah rah cheerleader horse shit. If you need a cheering section telling you how great it is you typed 10,000 words today, you aren’t a writer. Sorry. Hate to burst your precious snowflake ego, but writing is hard work that requires hours of solitude and months without feedback.

I also hate how it cheapens the difficulty of writing a full novel. This is probably what pisses me off the most. People who know nothing about crafting a book hear that hundreds of thousands of people are cranking out books in one month, and suddenly my three months of busting my fucking ass to write my fourth book seems like slacking. Why does it take him so long? All these people are pounding out fifty pages a day.

This stupid bullshit also floods the market with thousands of poorly conceived, shoddy products that make it that much more difficult for year round writers to be noticed. Thanks. This career wasn’t hard enough already without every starry-eyed, bored housewife or pimply-faced college freshman thinking their 30 day type fest will land them an interview with Oprah.

I’m all for creative expression, and I think everyone should write because it’s good for the soul. But I can’t stand this “social writing” bullshit. If you want to write, fucking write, but do it all year or shut the fuck up. Learn to craft your story and take some pride in the quality of what you say. Don’t flood my fucking newsfeed with tales of how you hammered out 15k words on day one of NaNoWriMo. What the fuck are you going to do with those 3 vanishing plot lines, 16 stock characters, and shifts in POV?

As for me, I’ll spend November finalizing edits on the manuscript I wrote over the summer.

6 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Ramblings”

  1. Everyone is entitled an opinion, but I think it’s a bit presumptuous to assume what people should or shouldn’t need for motivation. Not everyone operates the same way and if the social aspects of NaNoWriMo help some folks, more power to them.

    There’s some truth in what you say about people taking their month of essentially draft work, possibly correcting one or two spelling errors and slapping it up on Amazon. I just think you’re painting with a pretty broad brush here.

    Best of luck in your edits.

      1. Well we could have a long discussion about whether there’s really such a thing as internal-only motivation, but for the most part I agree. IMO, not everyone is using NaNoWriMo as a long-term solution. Some folks find that participating helps instill self-discipline moving forward. More of a spark than the fire itself.

  2. I use it as an excuse. Rest of the year, I feel self-indulgent sitting down to write when so many other things need doing. NaNo clears my conscience. I write all year round, of course. But I use Nano (and JulNo) for the big pushes on sustained projectes, instead of just futzing around at 15 minutes/project/day. That does finish stuff, and the time adds up.

    And yeah, writing is a mixture of internal and external motivators. Internal motivator: I write because when I don’t I end up in a clean white hospital with lots of smiling attendants, drugged off my butt. External motivator: money. Praise. Fans. Cons. Holding my book in paperback (It’s so SHINY!) after a long and difficult labor.

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