Saturday, September 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo sucks?

NaNoWriMo sucks?

First, I would like to say that I don't give a dime about "popular opinion". I just think you're making a henhouse out of a feather. The admonition to flame, because you are expressing an opinion you assume is "unpopular" is flaming in itself. Seems to me you wrote the darned thing just to poke people.

Might be that NaNoWriMo sucks. Nevertheless, it's better to waste 30 days of November by "playing" NaNoWriMo than use it to play some silly game at Facebook.


Because you will have written SOMETHING. Even if it's not the minimum of words needed for a novel, it's SOMETHING. YOU WILL HAVE WRITTEN SOMETHING.

Sounds silly? Not to me, besides, who cares? I don't mind if people think I'm silly, acting silly, sounding silly or looking silly. Most of the people who think things shouldn't be silly are boring and, frankly, stupid. I'd rather be silly than stupid.

Your favorite bloggers take a pause from writing blogs for 30 days? WTF? You shouldn't be expecting people write blogs just to entertain you. I read somewhere that the best way to writers to actually become published writers who actually write books is to not write blogs at all. Because, as you say, it is writing, and every word written on a blog is a word away from the book one is supposed to be writing... I really think you prefer them being away for only one month, in stead of being away for ever, and you got the chance to read them only when their book comes out :-D

"So why are bloggers shutting down one writing operation to open up another writing operation. Each about as useful as the other in terms of improving writing skills. I just don't get it."
Because NaNoWriMo isn't about improving writing skills. It takes just some fifteen minutes to write a blog entry, and you can write almost anything. It is quite acceptable to write a blog entry that is mostly links and a couple of words in between :-D Nevertheless, NaNoWriMo is about WRITING A NOVEL. A blog is not a novel. Sure, a draft isn't a novel either, but closer to a novel than a blog is. :-D

Of course, writing a novel is much more than writing the first draft, and NaNoWriMo recognizes this. There's something called NaNoFiMo and NaNoEdMo ;-)

"So, if a writer has to be encouraged to do the first step - The fun one - what are the chances they'll ever get around to the rest of the steps?"
Actually, bigger.
Firstly, you must have the first draft to be able to edit and rewrite, so that you can take the next step and start selling your work, so that you one day will experience the joy of seeing your name on the cover of a book.
Secondly, the first step is usually the most difficult one in any enterprise.
For example, I have a dog. I also have social anxiety, which means that I don't like going out and meeting people. I also don't like clothes, but I have to wear them when I'm out, so walking the dog starts with stopping what I am doing (usually writing), getting dressed, getting the dog "dressed" and then forcing myself out of my comfort zone to a place where I might meet other people. Walking the dog is actually quite enjoyable, and so is editing and rewriting...

"I suppose they would say that it encourages writers to write and finish their novels."
I wouldn't use the word "encourage". I would use the word "challenge".

"Anyone who needs an imaginary competition to start writing may want to consider another line of business"
Uh. A lot of things in this world are done simply because someone made a bet, because someone got challenged, because someone thought "I'm sure I would write a better book than this!". Some of the things created of spite, or some other such reason, are good, enjoyable, nice, fun, interesting... Just think about Frankenstein's Monster and "The Vampyre" that inspired "Dracula", both born from a such bet, dare or challenge one cold and rainy summer when a group of friends entertained themselves by telling horror stories...
NaNoWriMo is just a challenge like that.
Don't like Frankenstein and Dracula? A lot of people don't. So what? A lot of people do, and these have inspired a lot of other novels, movies and other creative projects.

There is 101 things in 1001 days, or "day zero project"
Perhaps this kind of challenges were fad in the early 00's. Perhaps we get more done by challenging ourselves and setting deadlines.

Might be that the "true" authors cannot not write. I cannot not write either. But I spread the writing in so many venues; blog entries, opinions in internet forums and newspapers, diary and journals, ezine articles, letters, whatnots... NaNoWriMo forces me to pull myself together, by giving me a frame, without which I would never finish such a big task as writing a novel. Might be that I never write anything anyone wants to read, or publish, but I want to write anyway, I want to write a novel.
Am I to be ashamed of this?
Am I not to write, because I probably won't ever win any literary prizes?
Am I not to write because I like the challenge called NaNoWriMo?
Am I not to write a novel, because I can't manage to write it,
being driven only by my need to write?
I'm sorry, but I refuse to be ashamed for being a spineless bum, for getting excited and inspired by challenges and I refuse to stop writing just because I don't fulfill your expectations. I refuse to "consider another line of business", and, frankly, I am hurt and offended by your attitude, which I think is extremely prejudiced, limited and intolerant.

Frankly, if your only REAL problem with NaNoWriMo is that it reduces your opportunities to entertain yourself by reading people's blogs, I think you should start doing something sensible with YOUR November. Instead of sour-puppying and attacking desk drawer authors, you should set yourself a reading goal for November. Make it a National Novel Reading Month, and try to read 10 prize winning novels.
(BTW, There is NaNoReaMo. It was created 2007, as a copy of an older version. It is August and the challenge is to read as many books as you can, and a book is defined as "any book at least 150 pages in length" - paperback, hardback, ebook, anything. (That's about 40.000 words ;-)) You might need to check things like that before you present your ideas as something new. :-D)

About the difficulty of writing NaNoWriMo: Don't. If it's too hard for you, don't write it. You don't need to.
But, if you want to, you can always write it with two fingers - then your left pinkie never needs to leave the shift button. But it still takes 17 steps. As does InNoWriMo... You still need to hold and let go of shift, you see... You can also just call it NaNo, like so many others. We all know what you mean ;-))
Also, you can put it in... what ever that's called. The possibility to have some words automatically written. Or put it in your memory and glue on place. You don't really need to write it even once. Just copy and glue.
1. mark
2. copy
3. ctrl+v

But to rename it INM just because the existing abbreviation is complicated, is also stupid. INM is already being used: Independent News & Media, Integration New Media, Instituto Nacional de Migración, Institut du Nouveau Monde, Instituto Nacional de la Meteorología, Iraqi National Movement, Institutul Naţional al Magistraturii, International Network Management... NaNoWriMo doesn't mean anything else. It is also funny because it's so quirky and complicated :-D I love the abbreviation, because it is impossible, complicated, funny and unique.
Besides, who the heck would pronounce INM "in me"? Why have "international" in at all? Why not just "Novel Month", NM, [en em]? (Which, btw, means "not much" in internet lingo ;-))

I enjoy "the intensity of trying to write a draft in a month" WITH A LOT OF OTHERS. Of course you could do that on your own, or among your writer friends, but the idea of "competing" with the whole world is nice. I suppose there is something in people that makes them want to come together to do things, like Earth Day, New Year's eve celebrations or bees. It's just more fun the more people there are doing the same thing.

Not all NaNoWriMo participants try to publish their novels.
Some publishers publish crap that has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo isn't responsible for the amount of crap being published in the world.


"The fact that people who want to be writing as their full time job choose to lean upon NaNo in order to 'force' themselves to write is sad"
I disagree with you. I think it's great there is NaNo to lean upon, and what ever makes people to get their story on paper is great.


"I can't say I would enjoy having people read something I threw together in that short time."

"Charles Dickens wrote his literary classic A Christmas Carol in just 2 weeks.
Samuel Johnson wrote Rasselas: Prince of Abyssinia in an amazing 4 days.
Barbara Cartland took only 5 days to write each of her books, resulting in an amazing 623 best-sellers during her lifetime. The hit self-help book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is still selling in its millions - and was written by Dr Richard Carlson during a 12-hour transatlantic flight.
Even the world's best-selling novelist, Agatha Christie, claimed to have written all her manuscripts in under a month. In a BBC interview, she said: "I find no reason why one month isn't adequate time to write a book"."

It is not so that the more time you use to do something, the better the results. Sometimes one can create masterpieces in very short time, sometimes one destroys the work by editing it too far.

Anonymous said: "Wow, you like to complain."
DustinM said: "Thank you, Anonymous, for your input. First, let me just say that we here at appreciate all feedback. In your case, I can assure that your input will be given the exact amount of thought and attention it deserves."

That is, more than anyone else. :-D I have to say, that's the best comment of them all, this one included :-D Dustin sure likes to complain :-D

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