We’re almost halfway through National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. It’s that wonderful time of year when people commit to writing 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Most people seem to like the concept, to think it’s generally a positive phenomenon.
But not everyone has such a glowing opinion, such as the writer of this article, “Why I Hate National Novel Writing Month, and Why You Should, Too”:
I’m not sure why someone “scared away by the time and effort involved” in novel writing would instead want to put themselves through the wringer of doing a whole novel in a month, but the “finish line” metaphor is telling; to the NaNoWriMo people, writing a novel is like running a marathon, something difficult and strenuous that you do only so you can say you did it before you died.
Then there are the slightly cynical:
The idea of NaNo, really, is not just the doing of it, but the saying of the doing of it. The web site will connect you to other people in your area who are holding “write-ins,” group meetings to sit and work on your book…It’s a time when people commit to a set of completely arbitrary rules — you can have an outline ahead of time, but no writing done; you can “win” with 50,000 words even if your novel isn’t finished; you are at the mercy of NaNo’s word counter, no matter what yours may say — in return for having an excuse to do what they want to do anyway.
It seems a rather hard-hearted person who would look for a reason to disparage something that gets hundreds of thousands of people writing. Creating.
But what do you think about NaNoWriMo? Stupid idea? Incredible idea? Have you participated in the past? Are you doing it this year?
Most importantly, for those of you who have participated, how did it go?
(In case you were wondering, here are Eight Bestsellers Started During National Novel Writing Month.)