Why I Think NaNo Anything is Dumb

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Photo Credit: NaNoWriMo No Mo (read this article!)

I think there are going to be a lot of people yelling at me after they start reading this. But that’s okay. Bring on the yelling, well, after you read this. Don’t just go make a dumb comment without reading.

So, this month is Camp NaNoWriMo, right? Which means that instead of the 50,000 word goal that arrives every November, this month is your own goal. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a rant.

Okay. So besides these two months of the year that are basically meant to force you to sit down and get some writing done, I believe there is also a month for poetry and also one for short stories. I think. I’m definitely not taking the time to Google any of these things. So we have four months out of the year that are dedicated to getting writers of all things creative to sit their butt in a chair and write. Sounds great on the surface, right? Not really.

During National Poetry Month I read a rant of a poem by one of the well known poets on WordPress. I don’t read her poems anymore because they simply lost their zing, but she was basically calling out every person who was participating in the poem a day challenge. It was her opinion that you shouldn’t need some specified month to get you writing poetry. Now I’m not going to focus specifically on poetry, but our thoughts are essentially the same.

You’re supposed to be a writer, right? Then why the heck do you need some specific month to get writing? I know plenty of people work with word count goals and others just try to get something written out each day and yet others have specified times during the day in which they write. Okay to all of that, but the calendar is moving along just as it does each and every year and suddenly during July and November you decide to get focused? I know you must be seeing how stupid this whole thing sounds. Cause this is basically what you’re telling me, yourself, and everyone else who knows you’re participating in Camp NaNo or NaNoWriMo: “I’m a writer. I work on different writing projects throughout the year, but I get most of my writing done during July and November.” My response to you would be this, “How come you get most of your writing done during those two months?” You’d look at me awkwardly and then say NaNoWriMo. Then I’d proceed to laugh and walk away because I’d like for you to think about your favorite author. Or maybe a few of them. Then find their website and see if they do most of their writing during the months of July and November. I think we both know you wouldn’t find any such information. Cause it’s flat out ridiculous. Period.

One more thing before I just punch someone in the face. You all likely know by now that I started my blog in June of last year so that I could talk about writing my first book (written between June & August) for all of you wondering and no, I had no idea what Camp NaNo was. But last November was the first I’d heard of NaNoWriMo. So I’m like, “Hey I just finished my first book. Maybe I can get started writing my second in this novel writing month thing. I went on to the website and realized what a joke the whole thing is. 50,000 words in 30 days. Why? Because that’s what they say. Even though any serious writer knows 50,000 words is hardly a novel. But that’s besides the point.

Then I took a look at what I think were the past year’s “winners.” They’d written the 50,000 words during the month. And what do you know, almost every single one of the books listed was self-published. I’m not avidly against self-publishing, I’ve done it, but is this really your ultimate goal as a writer? To write a ton during a single month or two only to realize that your writing was shit. The whole “Oh I can edit it later” mindset is about as ridiculous as writing a book in a month for no reason whatsoever. There’s a reason these books are very rarely picked up by traditional publishers. And you and I both know that it has a little something to do with the quality of the writing. They should change the name to National CreateSpace Novel Writing Month because that’s where most of the titles written are headed.

And cue your outrage.

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