I’m taking time out from writing my NaNo novel (10K in, yay) to write this post. Appreciate it. 😉
So why do NaNoWriMo? It’s a valid question anyone might ask. Someone like Laura Miller in this Salon article. I don’t want to go point by point over her article, although I’m still scratching my head about how having more writers is somehow taking away something from the readers. (I mean, this NaNo author is only on her 91st book of the year, having taken on challenges for writing and reading this year.)
Instead, I’d much rather talk about some of the reasons that people I know have done NaNo.
1) They’ve always wanted to write – Simple enough reason. There are so many people who hear that you’re writing a novel and answer with, “Oh, I have always wanted to write.” Well, NaNo gives them an excuse to try their hand at it. If it doesn’t work out, oh well, they tried.
2) They’ve started novels, but that inner editor keeps them from completing them – NaNo doesn’t suggest allowing yourself to write crap because they only want to see crappy novels come out of it. They’re giving the writer permission to not go back and fix their opening paragraph 100 times before moving on to the next one. And they’re allowing for the people who just want to write something fun without any intention of getting it published. And what’s wrong with that? Anyway, the serious writers will revise like hell when December (or March) comes. The agents can tell the ones that didn’t pretty fast.
3) They want to try something new – I do this every year. The new thing this year? I’m being social with my NaNo. Previous years, I’ve hung out with a friend while I wrote, but this year I’m trying to make new friends by going to the write-ins and kick-offs, and posting “I’m in this coffeehouse if you want to join me” on my regional forum. But, as I mentioned in my earlier NaNo post, my other “new things” have included genres and POVs.
4) They need an excuse to make time to write – It’s only 30 days, guys. And if something comes up that makes it impossible to finish, then it does, and it’s not the end of the world. So there’s pressure, but only sort of.
5) Social aspect – Writing is kind of a solitary thing, but NaNo encourages you to go to write-ins and meet people, to hang out on their forums and chat about writing. Sometimes you find other writers and keep on hanging out with them. Isn’t that cool?
6) They just want to have fun – And there’s nothing wrong with writing a novel that takes a million dares and is set in five alternate universes, and written from the POV of a dog with soul that’s an invisible shade of green. And then it wakes up and it’s all a dream. And the bad guys tempt him to their side with cookies. For a month, you wrote something and you enjoyed it.
See, the thing with #6, with doing NaNo at all, IMO, is that it opens you up to be creative. To use your imagination. And whether a writer or a reader, I don’t think an imagination is a bad thing to have.
Okay, back to that novel.
Currently on iPod: Transistor by Scissor Sisters (Now that Halloween is over, I’ll be going back to the alphabetical order thing, I just have to get it set up)
Lots of love,