Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Well… I never thought of NaNo as something to have so much controversy over. I mean, you like or not, do it or not.

Or you try it and ….well, whatever you do and wherever you get to. It’s all a Good thing Right?

Or so I thought.

I admit this is the first year I have done it ‘officially’ but I have done it unofficially for a few years now. And I can’t say I’ve ever felt a failure for not completing the 50,000 words thing. Even unofficially that wasn’t the draw for me. I feel like getting Any words down, at any time, that’s a win.

I do happen to like the writing energy that is flowing around everywhere each year at NaNo time. Not to mention all the camaraderie and help. Like at no other time of the year I can think of.

Okay so mostly I’m coerced and badgered into it, but still I take it for what I learn and get out of it. And just like everything in our lives I feel it only becomes a waste if we make it that way. That road less traveled might be a lot more scenic and less hectic but sometimes we still have to take that busy fast paced highway to get where we need to go. Does it make either one the Right way – or the Wrong way? Unless the highway department deems it so then it simply becomes our perception of which is the best way for us. Which might, or might not, end up to be true. I believe we can learn valuable lessons no matter which road we are on at the time and it only becomes wasted if we allow it to be.

As for NaNo teaching bad writing habits and bad writing and filled with a bunch of bad words that have to be cut later. Well, bad words are what we deem them to be. My mamma had her version of them, just as your mamma most likely has a bit of a different version. In fact, I’m pretty sure she does.

But as most writers quickly find out, Writing is Editing! And those of us that have been around awhile know about that. The words that are taken out are not bad, they can just perhaps be replaced by better ones, more descriptive, more succinct ones. Or just Less of them. But No Matter HOW they get there, whether by slap dash NaNo slinging or painstaking sweat soaked time intensive way, at some point during the editing process you are going to have to cut some of those words. Seems interesting to me that some that decry the NaNo process as a waste because of having to cut so much word fodder from the NaNo work have talked about how much they had to cut from their work that they had just spent months, or even longer, agonizing over and working on. Did it matter how quick the words went down when they had to be lifted away?

Writing just like any other creative expression is simply a matter of opinion. We all have an opinion of what we think of as good writing and bad writing. And sometimes the publishing industry seems to have a whole different view of that. Silly them. Okay, most likely. Doesn’t really make anyone’s opinion more valid than yours, even when publishing industry pays for bad writing. ;)

And bad writing habit – well, to me the worst writing habit to have is Not writing.

It is so Easy to allow our full, or over full, lives to overflow and take over Everything. Including our writing time. Or time we should, and could, be writing.

While I hate the time of year that NaNo falls, November is just way too busy as it is with family obligations and all, I also realize that it forces us to look at ourselves as writers and what we are really saying to ourselves about writing and its importance to us. Others certainly aren’t going to take our writing as serious if we don’t. And by at least setting aside some time in November to write we have to acknowledge that we can do it at other months in the year as well.

If we manage to write at all and get words down and out of our heads then we win. Regardless of the word count.

If you support someone else, and yourself while doing it, we all win.

What’s bad about that?

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