Yesterday was my second worst NaNoWriMo opening day EVER. 802 mostly uninteresting words. Not a good way to start off. Luckily, it’s a long month.
And today, I read my first “NaNoWriMo is bad” blog post of the season. This one wasn’t an unreasonable criticism, though I have to admit that I got bored and didn’t actually finish reading. If you click the link, I apologize for linking to Salon.com. Their advertising is generally on the high end of obnoxious.
The general criticism of NaNoWriMo is that it plays up the fun part of writing, and glosses over the fact that you need do a lot of editing to end up with something that people really want to read. The vast majority of Nanoers will agree with this—you don’t go from November 30th to publication without a lot of work in between.
I know the NaNoWriMo website doesn’t like to bring this up. Who would take part if they kept reminding you that, even in the best case scenario, you’re looking at six to 12 more months of hard work before you get something that anyone might want to publish? So, instead, they promote the fun parts. The camaraderie, the excitement at finishing, the feeling of holding the printed manuscript in your hands for the first time…
But is publication really what NaNo is about? I’d argue that it isn’t, and never has been, and it’s nevertheless very worthwhile. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo criticism misses the point”