NaNoWriMo is that annual writing frenzy that occupies many writers across the globe. Some finish, others don’t, but what the participants know that non-participants haven’t learned yet is that it’s the writing that’s important.
I’ve spoken to many people about NaNo in the past, and they’ve responded with statements like “Well, yeah, it’s 50,000 words, but is it any GOOD?” They look self-satisfied as though that comment should be enough to put the silly idea to rest.
They’re missing the point. When you write 50,000 or more words of anything, you get better as you go on. You learn how to sustain long-term output. You learn how to let the words come out, whether or not you’re in the mood. The thing about writing a novel is that it’s a long process, it’s not something you can do in a night.
On the other hand, it IS something that you can do whether or not you are an author yet. It’s the process of doing it that makes you an author, not whether some external third party bonked you on the head and said “Thus I make thee an AUTHOR!”
So, should you NaNo?
My answer is, do you want to write a novel?
If your answer is yes, then my answer is too. Why? Because making the attempt will teach you a lot about yourself. Many writers have become addicted to the mental masturbation of telling others they’re writers, and saying they’re writers, and talking about what they’re writing; however, they don’t actually write. It’s hard to sell a novel that you haven’t written, and all the talking in the world won’t write it for you. The only way to become a novelist is to, well, write novels. And the only way to do THAT, friends, is to write.
Wish I had some magic potion for you, but I don’t. That’s all there is to it.
So, I ask you: do YOU NaNo?