Monday, October 11, 2010

November Is Nanowrimo...And I Should Care Because Why?

Note: For those of you who are newcomers to this blog, waaaaaaay back in the day I used to throw up a disclaimer whenever I wrote a post that featured extremely unclean language or presented a rant that was designed to offend a maximum amount of people.

Disclaimer: This post will feature an opinion that runs counter to just about every positive opinion/helpful idea that will be thrown out in blogland by just about every single writer and agent of note and semi-note. In short, I am the cad who takes off his glove and slaps the hero across the face with it and challenges him to a duel.

So, once again, The National Novel Writing Month is coming up fast and once again yours truly really doesn't see what the big F'n deal is. I mean, if you're a writer, shouldn't you be writing whatever kind of novel in whatever kind of genre that you enjoy writing to begin with? Do you really need anyone to give you any kind of advice on how to best write a novel for a non-award winning completely voluntary "contest" in which the only prize is that you have a completed trunk novel sitting on your desk that will probably never see the light of day anywhere?

I mean, really, is it necessary for anyone to write a complex and mind boggling detail oriented post, such as the one written by Alexandra Sokoloff (link can be found at Sandra Seaman's blog or you can google for her blog), for something that really doesn't matter in the long run.

Look, if you're already perpetually motivated to write to begin with, you're certainly not going to pay attention to something that will add unneeded aggravation (in the form of friends who are participating because apparently they're not motivated enough to write on their own, or they're digging out something from their slush pile to work on because whatever they're working on now is sucking bull cookies, or even worse, you're pulling something out your slush pile to work on because...YOU. DON'T. HAVE. ANYTHING. ORIGINAL. TO. WRITE.) to your life. And if you're not perpetually motivated, chances are infinitesimal to negative zero that this will not motivate you to write a new novel for just that one month.

Let's face it, the "contest" should renamed The National Novel Writing Year, because isn't that what most writers do throughout the year to begin with? That's what I try to do, write year 'round. Not concentrate my energies in making a big HOO HAH OVER SOMETHING THAT IS COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS TO BEING WITH.

Either you're gonna write, or not. A pseudo contest, or specifically, a pseudo idea that does absolutely nothing for no one in the long run should not influence you to write faster/crummier/with less thought and or intelligence than you do to begin with.

Personally, I would like to form my own contest/idea and create a .org for it called, "The National Boycott Writing Month", or NaBoWriMo for a bad acronym. The idea is very simple: For the entire month of November, do not churn out any word beyond what is necessary to keep your blog going or to fulfill contractual assignments. No short stories, no long stories, no novellas, and no novels.

Take a break, rest your brain, uncramp your hands, get your fat ass out of the chair and go outside. Enjoy life, do good deeds, exercise, do anything your heart craves and desires.

Except write.

C'mon, try it for day. Try it for a week. What do you got to lose?

My name is G and the opinion expressed here today is probably echoed by others who also don't care about this upcoming annoyance but are too scared to voice their opinion about it less they get slammed for it.


  1. Works for me, but I don't typically write beyond my blog material. So I'm good. :)

    I finished school finally in 2004 and got a degree in journalism and had a minor in sociology. All I did was write papers and news stories, so I haven't been motivated to churn out anything beyond my Good Things since.

    My word verification is "bucks" - is Google trying to tell me something? :)

  2. I think it's probably a useful exercise for some people...but I can't imagine the quality of writing is that great. I know a few writers who have done this and had totally different experiences. One detested it and found they might as well type the alphabet over and over and the other found it unlocked a lot of ideas that they would later use. Some people thrive with having strict guidelines to follow. That's never helped me creatively.

    It's not my cup of tea, for sure.

    As someone who deals with writing on a professional basis, I really can't give it up dealing with it in my day-to-day life, but it's certainly not my life - just a part of it.

  3. Lynn: It is a bit weird, this NaNoWriMo thingy.

    When I started blogging in '08 and reading writing oriented blogs, it puzzled me to no end to read about this particular writing "contest". The more I learned about it, the more puzzled I became, until finally it has gotten to the point of where I will check off any blog posts that even remotely touch upon it, because frankly, its a non-issue.

    That's a pretty good word verify, especially for Google. :D

  4. Talon: Exactly. All it ever is, is a simply a semi-useful exercise.

    Honestly, I couldn't believe the big deal that some people are making of it.

    I can also agree about strict guidelines not being conducive to creativity. If you're the type of person who writes flash fiction and thus thrives on this kind of structured chaos, then this is for you.

    Myself, while I thrive on structured chaos and tight deadlines in the work environment, I do not as a rule, thrive on it with my writing. Blogging yes, writing no.

    As for my idea, I just wanted to poke fun at the absurdedness of this grandiose scheme with a nutty one of my own. I think it will be damn near impossible to abstain from writing for anything longer than a day.

  5. I tried it last year, but had to quit after 8 days. I got so focused on the daily "word count goal" part of it, that I ended up with writers' block and made myself sick.

    I'm sure some people would do well, but not me.

    ps. I forgot how much I love reading your posts. I tried visiting a couple of times, but for some reason my old computer was "hit or miss" when it came to blogspot blogs.

    But now that I finally have a new computer, I'm on my way to "Shooting Suburbia" to find out what I missed!

  6. Bschooled: Hi B! Welcome back!

    It's funny that you should mention a problem with Blogger on your old computer. Whenever mine has a hissy fit and I have to do a cold shutdown, I always lose my pre-filled forms on WordPress. Bugs me to no end.

    Now, onto the post. I believe you have to average at least 1,667 words a day for this "contest", and for people like me, I measure success not by word count, but by actually completing a particular scene and melding it properly into the next, or by simply getting through a particularly sticky point.

    Nobody needs that kind of self inflicted stress.

  7. It scares the crap out of me, G. I hate pressure, even when it's self imposed.

    But I admit, I'd love to produce that word count. People I know who find it useful go in with an idea outlined and use it to force the first draft. But you know all this...

  8. Pamela: Hi there young lady, long time no see.

    I think it would scare the crap out of most people, especially new writers just starting out.

    To be honest when I first ran into this in '08, I was really gung ho about actually doing this...until I found out it was completely voluntary and people were trumpeting the fact they completed their NaNo novel.

    I haven't made an attempt at doing this kind of thing because 1) I have more than enough on my plate to keep myself occupied and 2) It takes me forever and a day to come up with an idea in the first place and 3) It takes me beyond forever and a day to flesh it out.

  9. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got rid of your duplicate comment. Blogger must be acting (or at least my blog) goofy again.

  10. You know...if I had to start every post or conversation with that disclaimer, I'd really be fucked.

  11. R: I can see where that would be a problem on your blog.

    But I consider this to be a leftover element from the chat rooms, where uneven application of the rules by the owners created monumental headaches for everyone involved.

    Plus, I do have a few readers who don't use that kind of language on theirs, so I try to play nice as much as possible.

    Besides, isn't life just a little more exciting when you get a warning just before you do something?

  12. You are absolutely right, G. I don't need any external motivation to write crummier or with less intelligence!

  13. Mama Z: Neither do I, young lady, neither do I.

    After all, I spent about two+ years writing crummy and with less smarts without any external motivation at all.

  14. I agree with you that it's like fast food writing. Not an incentive for me to pick up the pen.

  15. Kelly: Honestly, its not even an incentive to follow some of the writing blogs that are out there today next month.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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