Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I Love NaNo Even Though I Don't Participate

We are approaching the end of the first week of NaNo, and my social media feeds are filled with word count updates and excerpts from their new novels. 

I have no great love for NaNoWriMo myself. I failed miserably several times to meet the word count expectations, and more often then not hated almost everything I wrote.  The thing I dislike most about NaNo is the expectation that the number of words you write is all that counts, and you can fix it in editing.

Well I don't mean to piss in your cornflakes, but they're wrong. Editing can't fix everything, and just writing 50k words won't get you a novel.  But even if I'm not planning to participate, I look forward to NaNo every year because of other people's excitement. 

Every November I see a whole host of new writers bubbling with enthusiasm about writing a novel. It really feeds my own desire to write more, and talk about the writing process.

Mentoring young writers

Writing isn't always the easiest thing to do. Writers are know for their neurosis, but I think that has a lot to do with the solitary nature of writing. We spend hours/days/months sitting in front of a computer (notebook if you're old school) talking to the imaginary people in our head, or if you're like me having those conversations aloud.

So I embrace NaNo, if for no other reason than the fact people are talking about writing. I get to have chats with new and experienced writers about their process. How they come up with their ideas. What they do about writer's block. How they edit.

There's a great buzz all over the internet, and it really feeds my own passion. In addition to that, I find some of my favorite writing spots filled with people writing. I've had conversations with people in my local coffee shop about what I'm working on, and how long I've been writing.  So instead of sitting at home alone, in November I have a tribe.

It might not always be productive, but I enjoy the comradery.  So While I may never participate in NaNo again, I welcome it. And wish you all luck!

1 comment:

  1. I never thought of it this way, but you're right, Gina, writers are especially excited in November. Still, I don't plan on doing NaNo either. Eh--thanks for the great post.