(this rant was written for the Nindy / NaNoWriMo Indianapolis group on Facebook, reposted here for your amusement)
So, in another Facebook writing group, this anti- NaNoWriMo piece resurfaced. It made me mad when I first saw it, and it made me mad again today.
Why? Because it degrades something wonderful. Sure, NaNoWriMo encourages quantity over quality, but so what? I went almost 39 years of my life without writing a novel. And yet, growing up, I always admired authors, wanted to write my own novel.
I just didn’t think I COULD.
NaNoWriMo changed that. I wrote my first novel, FOUR ‘TIL LATE, in 2007. Since then, it’s been revised and edited and published by a small press, along with the other two books in the TRILOGY. Another small press publisher put out another NaNo novel of mine, REALITY CHECK. Two more NaNo novels are set to be published within a year, and I am writing another in that series this November.
How is that a waste of time? How is it a waste of time, even if you never publish the results of November? How is scrapbooking a waste of time, or knitting, or learning a musical instrument? If you love to write, why not write a novel in a month? Why NOT challenge yourself?
And some will say, “that’s fine for a hobbbyist, but what about professionals?”
To them I say, everyone has to start somewhere. You don’t step onto the job as a concert pianist without learning to play the piano first. And learning to play an instrument takes practice. And practice only happens by DOING it, not by talking about it. So it is with any skill, especially writing.
Of course, practicing writing in a vacuum is only going to get you so far. You have to show it to others, get feedback. Better yet, find (or form) a critique group. But if you never learn to finish things, you won’t even get so far as to learn to get better, and NaNoWriMo teaches us that we CAN finish things.
So ignore the haters. If you want to write, then WRITE. I am.