NaNo Inspiration: November 11

Instead of thinking on NaNo as a way to sell a book or not, how about using it as an opportunity to make writing central to your schedule? — Lauren Dane

I found the above courtesy of Alison Kent, and it’s exactly what I was talking about yesterday. Too damn easy to let life get in the way of the important things, and if one is going to write — really, seriously, I want to be published and earn money with this write — then writing has to be one of the important things.

Life is a series of choices. Sometimes nothing can stop us from certain things and sometimes we put stuff on hold for what are very good, solid reasons at the time. The problem is, getting back to what you put on hold it is often very hard. (Ask any knitter; they probably have loads of unfinished objects they put aside “just for now” that are still lurking in bins. There’s a reason Ravelry has the “hibernate” option for projects.) for ne, that ‘s what NaNoWriMo is about: getting back to what might have been out on hold.

There have always been this who decry the very idea of the month of writing madness. They say it encourages bad writing, that it pretends writing is just a hobby that can be taken up and put down, that it pushes the idea novels can be churned out in a month. I’ve seen some heated blog posts (and heated responses) on the subject and I have to wonder why some folks are getting themselves so worked up about the idea. If you don’t do it, fine. That’s your decision. I’ll be over here with my word counts.

See, I do NaNo for myself, not anyone else. I don’t do it according to “the rules” — I have often started prior to November 1 on a project, and I often work on multiple projects during the month. Blog posts don’t count — unless I’m a bit shy on my word count come November 30. The only “prize” I get is the satisfaction of knowing I put my butt in the chair and did 50,000 words or more in the space of 30 days that is usually filled with some type of family drama. My husband swears he loves NaNo if for only one reason: being able to say at family gatherings, “I’m sorry, but we need to head out. Caro needs to get her words done today.” Some friends of mine, horrified at the idea of trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, participate in WriSoMiFu, which challenges people to write something every day for 30 days. (It stands for “Write Something, You Miserable…”)

In the end, we should either do or not do these things for ourselves and if other people decide not to do it, or color outside the lines while participating, what’s the big deal? Have fun. Practice some discipline. (Those two statements are not mutually contradictory). If you’re enjoying NaNo, great — but don’t think everyone has to do it because it isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like NaNo, fine — but don’t be a wet blanket to those who are doing it. (Well thought out reasons why you’re not doing it or doing it differently are always welcome; saying it’s the scourge of the earth is not.) As Yoda would say, do or do not — but do it for yourself.

On a lighter note, I did a massive burst last night and am almost caught up. Also, Apple pushed a new system update for Snow Leopard and my laser printer is once more playing nice with my Airport Express. Life is good.