NaNoWriMo Isn’t Proper Writing

I’ve heard this many times and often with some venom behind it. Of course it isn’t true. If you write then you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting studiously in a library or running naked in Bermuda, if you write, you are a writer. And please note here, those of you who’ve produced several thousand words so far, if you do it, you are it, no ifs, no buts, and no Aspiring.

But, the mind splurge of Nano produces some truly awful work, you say? Well, yes, yes it does. It produces first drafts, which as Hemingway always reminds us are…horse apples. But some of those pieces of work will be edited and revised and turned into really great work. Some won’t. Some people have the temerity to enjoy the whole experience and miss out on the angst altogether. Some people just aren’t ready to be edited.Β 

But, some of them are so proud of sub-standard stuff, you wail. Well, yes. Of course they are. So were you before you learned to handle an adverb. You can’t tell me that you haven’t looked back at your early writing and cringed, properly cringed. That’s okay though, because you were learning. And that is what all of the Nano writers are doing without any concern for the level of craft they have reached. They are all learning. And they are writing. And that’s a good thing.

Some people don’t want to be told they are anything less than a genius – those people will learn slowly regardless of the task.

Other people seek out the errors and hunt them down with a scary level of commitment, because they know that they are never above a mistake. – Β those you need to watch, because they will get there. They will get better. They will be good. And one day the Aspiring Author, will be an Author.

None of this should rattle any Writer’s cage. You know why? No one else in this world is you. No one has your thoughts, your life experience, Your voice. We can look around at other people and say, he’s not this or she’s not that. That is just so easy. But we’re not in a race with them. Writers are always in competition with themselves and on their own journey. Our own journey.

So let other people be….Not You

And show me what you can do.


18 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Isn’t Proper Writing

  1. Nice point. I think what hacks anti-NaNoWriMo people off is that you’re doing it during a set time, because it’s an official event. If you want to write then write anyway.

    • Yes, I can see their point but I think it’s very silly to get aerated about how other people do what they do. And for some people Nano is an ideal introduction to sustained writing.

  2. I still have all the post-it notes I made during NaNo 2013 on the wall next to me. Occasionally I’ll add to it with the desire to redraft the whole thing and see what I can make of it. Just as soon as life stops getting in the way. DAMN YOU LIFE OBSTACLES!

    • Not what I said πŸ™‚ some people work well within a specific time frame but others don’t. Just suit yourself and your writing and they other people be…Not You πŸ™‚

      • Oooops! I am sorry I misinterpreted that. πŸ™‚ On the other hand, some people ( I know some) who think that they HAVE to write a full blown novel in a month – and they think what they have written in a month is awesome. Not so – writing a great piece takes years.

        Again – great post! πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

      • Yeah, pretty much covered that in the post. But people do learn so I wouldn’t ever fret about what other people do. And I make a point never to put down anyone writing even if they seem unduly joyful – you know baby steps. The little kick of joy keeps you learning. You can really only teach people who are ready to be taught. It takes some of us a while to get there.
        Really looking forward to your blog posts tomorrow. Are you doing one together or one each?

      • Right! I agree! πŸ™‚

        We answered most of the questions together. πŸ™‚

        James will post tomorrow; I have a nasty schedule at work. He lives out in Colorado (three hour time difference from me in North Carolina), so he will post as soon as he can.

        We are excited. Writing with a partner is so much easier – in my opinion. πŸ™‚ Have a great day! πŸ™‚

  3. Well said. I always find it surprising how resistant some people can be to what makes a writer. It doesn’t matter how you do it, be it writing 250 words a day, or fifty thousand in a month, or even just spending an hour on the weekend scribbling away in your notebook.
    If you write, you’re a writer. You might not be a good writer, but you don’t just decide to run a marathon, you have to train for it, and you only do that by putting in the work, the time and the effort.

  4. Agree. There are always people who like to be proscriptive, and pigeon-hole things, but NaNo is only the same as anything else, a tool that can be used if it’s required. I like it, I found it fun, and motivating. The work I did during that time was of course unpolished (perhaps ridiculously so) — but it did give me the writer’s equivalent of play dough; something to shape. At the very least, doing NaNo is more productive than criticising NaNo.

  5. I was talked into participating in NaNoWriMo last year and I’m so sick of people giving me such weird looks when I say that so THANK YOU for this.
    Doesn’t seem to make a difference that I already had a full-length novel edited novel and being queried at the time. I was “one of those NaNo writers”…
    I participated because I liked the idea of the writing community – connecting with the other people who do every day. Alas, I did not find much there but I got a decent first draft out of it.
    But you are absolutely right. It’s a “first” draft. It needs finishing and then a lot of work. And someday I’ll finish it and then tighten it up. For now I’m focusing on my new project.

  6. Pingback: Writing | Adventures in Career Changing

  7. Pingback: Fake Reminders (NaPoWriMo, Day 30) | Stories in 5 Minutes

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