What kind of a spoilsport would scoff at NaNoWriMo? Apparently there are some snobs out there who are doing just that, and I can only marvel at their bad form. The first rule of writing is to finish what you’ve started, and if National Novel Writing Month helps people finish their novels, that’s all to the good. I’m of the opinion that involvement in a long-term creative project carries personal benefits regardless of whether the finished manuscript is publishable. As Lawrence Block once observed, your odds of getting recruited to a professional baseball team are miniscule, but that doesn’t mean you were wasting your time during those afternoons playing sandlot ball. The first novel I brought to completion was literally an exalted experience, one I wouldn’t have traded for anything. Everyone should have that kind of experience, and if NaNoWriMo gets them there — great.

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2 thoughts on “YouGoWriMo

  1. Jeff says:

    What I like most about NaNoWriMo is the possibility that someone who’d long ago put writing aside will now rediscover an aptitude for it and something great will result. What nags at me a little, though, is that the event has more than 150,000 participants at a time when most novels sell only a few thousand copies. (Of course, those 150,000 writers are spread among multiple genres, but I do worry a bit that we’re not cultivating readers as quickly as we’re cultivating writers.)

    I also wish NaNoWriMo participants weren’t quite so defensive. When you’re a writer, someone, somewhere invariably hates what you do. Time spent fussing about them is better spent on something more productive…like writing that novel.

  2. Steven Hart says:

    You’re right about cultivating the supply of readers. Once NaNoWriMo is over, time to get cracking NowYouReMo.

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