NaNoWriMo – Day 8

I can’t say that I had the same flurry of activity today that I had yesterday. I did spend some time this morning writing and a bit more at noon. Tonight I’ve also managed quite a few words so, all in all I’ve definitely had a solid day.

I ran across an article where the writer claimed to be a lover and hater of NaNoWriMo. She made a few comments to the effect of writing quantity versus quality is really the opposite of what a real writer should do. There was more to her article, but that was the piece that really stuck out in my mind.

I didn’t need to think about that. She is absolutely right about a writer’s preference being to write well rather than write lots. But I also think she totally missed the point of NaNo. Sure, quantity is king and quality is not really even mentioned as a goal. Editing is a No No too which seems, on the surface, to prove her point.

Except, she still misses the whole thing about the NaNo experience. It is also about forming new relationships. It is about community and it is about sharing.

She also went on to talk about how real writers don’t need others to motivate them. They will do the daily writing regardless. In a perfect world that’s true, but I don’t live in a perfect world. There are days when I simply don’t want to write. I don’t feel like it and without a solid goal in front of me, I sometimes stray from following a perfect writing schedule.

I guess that means I’m not a “Real” writer.

As you can tell, I didn’t agree with many of her points, but she has every right to feel the way she does. I then moved onto the comments and it is there that I REALLY started to have some problems.

One person commented that they had never done NaNo and never would because it is such a waste of time. Really? How can you say that something is bad without giving it a chance? Granted, I don’t have to run my hand through a meat grinder to know that it will go badly, but NaNo is a different animal entirely.

Another person said they tried it once “Unofficially” and it was the worst crap they ever wrote. Hmmm. Unofficially? As in, they didn’t have access to any of the motivational tools provided by the Office of Letters and Light? As in, they never participated in any of the write-ins or chats? As in, they never got a single letter from a so-called “Real” writer encouraging them? Seems like that person should blame their own inadequate writing, not NaNo.

Then, finally, I read the one comment that truly made me laugh. They said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Nothing of any value has ever been written in NaNoWriMo. No books that anyone would possibly want to publish has been written.”

Let me lay that little bit of nonsense to rest. I wrote a book during NaNo that a publisher thought was good enough to print. I’ve got the contract for it right here in my hand. Was it good enough at the end of November that year to send in? Heck no, but it was good enough that I was able to revise it into something that was good enough.

That and the other reasons I already stated above are all reasons why I love NaNoWriMo. It isn’t for everyone but it IS for me and I encourage you all to give it an honest try before you condemn it. I know of a few people who have done just that and are converts.

One last word on this before I move on. The writer of the article did start to state that nothing of consequence ever came from NaNoWriMo. Then she mentioned a NY Times best seller that started as a NaNoNovel. It was the last sentence and she did seem to reverse her position, but not enough to discourage all the haters from putting there own two cents in.

Just saying.

Breakdown of progress today:

Morning before work: 309

Lunchtime total: 284

Evening total: 2482

Overall NaNo total: 23041



  1. As far as I’m concerned you and I are both “real” writers. Writers write, though they don’t have to every day. Eventually they write well enough to please both themselves and an audience. You’re there imo, though there’s always room for improvement.

    Sadly haters are gonna hate. They don’t realize that just because they see no value in something that doesn’t mean there is no value in it. I love NaNo and always will. It brought me Archangel, but more important, it brought me people like you as friends, colleagues, and supporters.

  2. You are so right, Scott. We are on the same page. Even if I never did another NaNo (and believe me, I will), it will always be a favorite thing of mine. As you said, it brought me several books that I am proud of writing and even more friends that I am honored to know (including you ;)). Even though the Them team is crushing your hearts and dreams, know that we do it only to encourage you to greater and greater heights.

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