Forget the haters: Why I love National Novel Writing Month #amwriting #nanowrimo

(this rant was written for the Nindy / NaNoWriMo Indianapolis group on Facebook, reposted here for your amusement)

Alphasmart Neo

The right tool for the job of pounding out words… and NO FACEBOOKING!

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.

About ecgarrison

Author. Brewer. Gamer. Geek. Trans.
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1 Response to Forget the haters: Why I love National Novel Writing Month #amwriting #nanowrimo

  1. Bethany Hatheway says:

    I love nano so much. Even if none of the actual nano novels made it anywhere, it has still helped me grow tremendously as a writer. I understand how first drafts are supposed to be horrible, how editing isn’t important until the story is done, and how to force yourself to write past writer’s block. People who bash NaNoWriMo are most often the people who can never possibly hope to write that much, or who write it and don’t have their wits about them enough to be able to actually start editing to pull it into some semblance of order. If nothing else, the nanowrimo community is also a great resource for writing tips and help with fleshing out your plot.
    But yeah, that author of that article in particular is an idiot. Clearly, we’re all writing because we’re selfishly trying to make money, not because we want to write or anything. *facepalm*

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