It’s that time of year again.  The time when authors of all sorts of backgrounds and occupations come out of the woodwork to write.  When my Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of people talking about how far they’ve come and how much further they have to go.  Snippets appear and words of encouragement flow from well-meaning do-gooders that have no idea of the work involved.

God, I hate NaNoWriMo.

I know, I know.  I’ve talked about this before.  But that doesn’t mean the disdain goes away.  In fact, this week I’d forgotten about it totally until I saw a post on Facebook about forgoing NaNoWriMo for the day in favor of watching Game 7 of the World Series.  Then all that annoyance flooded up again.  Perhaps I scrolled past a bit too briskly.

In the past, I’ve tried not to care.  And most years I can snort in disgust and continue on with my life with nary a care in the world.  But this year feels different.  I’m having a harder time with it.  Maybe that’s because I’ve written novels on my own without the need for a national month to do it in.  Maybe it’s some other self-inflating nonsense that in my head makes me sound more important than I actually am.  It could be something else entirely.  And, in fact, I think it is.

I think that this year my intolerance is solely and squarely based on the fact that I can’t seem to write.  Or, I should say, my increased intolerance comes from that.  NaNoWriMo is still a thorn in my side, but I’m a big enough of a man to admit that part of it comes from the problems that I’m having.  And there are plenty of those.

Not that you want to hear about them.

Don’t worry.  I won’t go into them.  But I will still hold firm on NaNoWriMo being, overall, a poor idea.  If you want to write a novel, then write a novel.  You don’t need a particular month to do it in.  Just do it.  And do it how you want, not by some over-inflated set of rules that seem to dictate how or why to write anything.  Ulysses wasn’t written in a month.  Granted, not many people have read Ulysses, but that’s not the point.  You know what else wasn’t written in a month?

Harry Potter

Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice {We’re lucky to get one of those a decade})

Grapes of Wrath

And many more!

I just feel that this whole idea is stupid.  You don’t need anyone to tell you when to write.  Just write whenever you want.  And you know what?  If you don’t finish it in a month, so what?  Many I imagine quit after November 30th comes and goes.  Don’t.  Finish it.  Screw this whole NaNoWriMo stuff.  Just write.

I’ve said this before, but let me give you an analogy.  Writing is like birthing a baby.  I’m male and I’ve never had a kid, but I understand the basic principles behind it.  You develop that story.  You nurture it until it is ready to come into the world.  Then the labor starts, in both senses of the word.  The thing is, people go through labor at different speeds.  Some take minutes, while others take hours if not—heaven forbid—days.  Writing a novel is the same way.  Some people can spend days on end doing it and can have a finished work within a matter of weeks, but most of us take much longer.  And surprise, surprise, much longer than a month.

It just seems like NaNoWriMo is an unrealistic expectation for anyone to write anything of substance—whether that is an entertaining tale or the next great American novel.  Self-imposed time limits like that are nonsense.  If you want to write, then write.  It doesn’t matter if it is January, May, or August.

Or November.

Just write.

7 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo….. Again?

  1. I would say it’s better to think of NaNoWriMo as an anti-procrastination tool. It seems like a lot of people say “Oh, I’m gonna write that novel I’ve been thinking about. I want to write that novel. I’ve got a story I want to write…” but then they never get it started let alone finished. Sometimes a person needs outside help to get them on the ball and rolling, and so I think NaNo can do that. It doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s pointless for others, but it’s not a total waste and can at least help get a writer who needs that push to get started. Then there’s the fact that a lot of writers start the process a month or two before November as they plot and outline, subconsciously ruminating on the details, which then spurs them on to write well. Not everyone has that drive and outcome, for sure, but if NaNo can help then there’s nothing wrong with encouraging people to do it. You know?

    BTW we have not talked in tooooo long, my friend! We need to set up a NaFrCaDa (National Friend Catch-up Day) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you are trying to say, but I disagree. The thing is that NaNoWriMo seems to be overblown in so many facets from where I stand. Encourage other authors? I’m down for that, but we don’t need some fancy acronym—and all the associated connotations—to do it. Just encourage them.

      We do need to catch up. We’ll have to set up some time to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmmm…maybe I didn’t make myself clear? It’s not really about encouraging anyone else, all I’m saying is that some people (NOT ALL) need a form, an outline, a deadline, and a goal in order to be successful and NaNo offers that at least one month out of the year. It is not for everyone! 🙂 We definitely need to catch up!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s