At long last…CONTROVERSY!

Posted on November 2, 2009


This, my friends, is the snark you’ve been waiting for. Well, at least…this is the snark my long time friends have all been waiting for. To my new friends…well. If you thought this blog was all puppydogs and Crawlers, You. Were. Wrong. Because:

I think I loathe NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, 50k words in 30 days for you uninitiated)

“ZOMG,” you say. “Maggie Stiefvater is doing NaNo! And she is Infinitely More Awesome Than You, Miss Unagented Unpublished Writer!”

I know, kids. I know. She is way more awesome. But still. I hate NaNo*. And not because it’s devoid of value, because it’s not. Like catheters and catharses (but not schnitzel), NaNoWriMo serves an important purpose. Hey, some of my best friends are NaNoErs. But even if I wasn’t working on revisions for my novel that I would like to slingshot into the universe soon, I don’t think it would work for me. Why?

Because NaNoWriMo is like the 30 Day Shred

The idea of the 30 Day Shred (30DS) is that you bust your ass for 30 days and you go from flab to fab. Not that you’re going to melt off hundreds of pounds if you’re morbidly obese…not necessarily that you’re even going lose weight at all. But you ARE supposed to look different by the end of 30 days. And my friends who have gone the distance have taken pics and the transformation is amazing.

But it’s hard. Really hard. So hard that your muscles shake (I hear) when you’ve done your 8,765th jumping jack.

“So,” you say, “you don’t believe in hard? You’re in for a HARD lesson if you wanna get published if that’s the case, Missy!”

“Shut up, peanut gallery,” I tell you. “It’s not that I don’t believe in hard.”

Seriously, folks, I get that you have to work hard for the things you want. I get that writing isn’t easy. But for me, I think NaNo would make it harder. Like the 30DS, I think NaNo sets up these weird, unreasonable expectations: by Day 30, you’ll have a novel! By Day 30, you’ll have a waist!

Before the comments section ignites, let me just get it out there that I know that YOU know that you’re not going to go out there in December and shop your 50,000 word novel around to every single agent listed on Query Tracker. I know YOU know that you’re going to have to spend a few months (at least) revising, and revising again. But this post isn’t about you, because on MY blog, it’s the Michelle show. And I think if I tried to NaNo, I would not only fail, but I’d be pretty flippin’ depressed about it, too.

Like it or not, there are folks out there who don’t know that NaNo is really just a means to light a spark under your ass and get you writing. On a non-writing forum I frequent, I’ve been seeing a bunch of NaNo posts and some of them are…well. Not encouraging, let’s just say. Pre-November 1st, people were floundering about looking for things to write about JUST because NaNo was coming up. Then they just started writing on November 1st, JUST because it was November first. I do not approve of such f*ckery. If you don’t know what to write about, I don’t think you should just start writing because it’s the first of November. (Now you can flame me).

Many of those same folks are now throwing in the towel on Day 3 (or seriously considering it) because they’re at a standstill, and they feel crappy about it (as I would). Just like I’d feel crappy for not finishing the 30DS. And I would think that craptacular feeling is worse when it’s sparked by a perceived creative failure instead of, say, a failure to move.

So, fellow non-NaNoers, unite with me. Support your NaNo friends, but don’t feel badly for not doing it, whatever your reasons. Wait until you have an idea that grabs you and just won’t let go. Wait until you have a story you just HAVE to tell, and then tell it as only you can. And if that happens to be in June 2010? Or February 2023? So be it.

How do you feel about NaNo?

*This post was written because I’m just jealous of everyone who IS doing NaNo, and I feel totally left out.

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