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.