national novel writing month

So here it is, November. For some that means it’s National Novel Writing Month.

Once again this year, I will not be participating. I just don’t buy into it. It feels like “stunt writing.” An arbitrary word count goal in an arbitrary number of days. How does vomiting words onto a page equate with serious writing? If you don’t normally write 1700 words in a day, and if you don’t normally write 1700 words a day for thirty consecutive days, what do you hope to accomplish by suddenly trying to do so? And what will you have even if you could sustain the effort? I certainly am not going to head out one morning and try to run 26.2 miles if my long runs are only 6.2 miles.

And, yes, I know some people claim that this gives them motivation, but I’ve never needed motivation to write. (I need time to write. I have all of the motivation I can handle.) And I suspect that if folks need to be motivated to write, then they aren’t serious writers. Thus NaNoWriMo seems to me to be a sport for amateurs.

Well, if it works for you, good. We all must proceed in our own best way.

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7 Comments on “national novel writing month”

  1. Teri Says:

    Agreed. This NaNo thing does not appeal to me in the least. If I did this, I would start to dread writing. I would be completely derailed.

    Not to mention that the minute someone (NaNo) tells me I have to do something, I go completely comatose and can’t perform. Here’s to the anti-NaNos!

  2. LauraMaylene Says:

    I agree with you, but I also don’t begrudge anyone who enjoys NaNoWriMo and who participates. I did it one year (and still haven’t looked at the “novel” I wrote during that time, which is for the best, I’m sure). It can be fun and some people like it for the community. But I have learned that while I may be capable of producing that many words in a month, they are not my best words. I’ll keep writing my own way, thank you very much — but good luck to everyone who participates.


  3. Beth Says:

    I found I liked NaNoWriMo for the community more than for the forcing to write every day. I made a few friends through the role playing boards.

    But this year I won’t be doing NaNo. I can’t be bothered.

  4. Pete Says:

    I did it every year from 2002 through 2006, but not since. It was an interesting experience, but didn’t give me much in terms of finished material. In fact, the physical and mental relief that came on December 1st was actually de-motivational, and made me not want to write for months afterward.

  5. Averil Dean Says:

    I’m with Teri: performance anxiety shuts me down altogether. Many of my friends are giving it a try this month and more power to them. But I’m chugging along with my page or three a day and that’s enough for now. I’m in this for the long haul.

  6. Brian Keaney Says:

    I completely agree. It’s just faddishness.

  7. CMStewart Says:

    NaNo is simply another way to write. Some people can do it, some people can’t. I enjoy NaNo because it varies my writing routine. 🙂

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