Saying No to NaNoWriMo · 18 November 2017

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo is a great idea, but I just have to say, “No,” to it again.

For those who do not know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is November. It is a month for those who say they want to be writers to actually get a kick start to that writing. It is a month for them to actually do what they say they want to do. It is a month for them to write 50,000 words. Just thirty days. To write an entire novel. Seems crazy. I have only tried it one time. I got about three-fifths of the way. But it was difficult. It was contrived. And the story stank. For me, NaNoWriMo was a month for failing to write 50,000 words.

Even though I failed at my one attempt to write all those words in a month, I must say that I do not have any enmity or loathing or even aversion to NaNoWriMo. I think it is a great idea. As long as those who really want to be writers use it as it is intended. As that kick starter. That jumping off point. That impetus which says, “You can do it.” Which is what it sorta did for me.

When I was participating in NaNoWriMo, I was excited. I was writing and writing and writing. I was working on getting that word total up and up and up. But the story was not going very well. And to me, the story is the thing. The words are just the vehicle to tell the story. And so I slowed down to tell the story. But NaNoWriMo helped me to see that writing is just a process. And it helped me to see that being a writer is just a commitment.

I have said NO to NaNoWriMo every year since that first time. But I have said YES to writing six days a week. I have said YES to the process. I have said YES to becoming a writer. Sure, I might be still striving to be MediocreMan, but I am working at it every day. Writing and editing and publishing. I might only have a few real and imaginary fans out there, but that does not negate the fact that I am writing. After all, if a tree falls in the woods it does make a sound even if nobody hears it. And if a writer publishes stuff and nobody reads it, he or she is still a writer. Period. Just like sound is sound whether anybody hears it, words are words whether anybody reads them. Regardless of whether those words come in blogs or books or wherever.

I might never have finished 50,000 words in thirty days, but I have finished writing, editing, and publishing books. True, they are sitting on the shelves in the woods in the Amazon with the falling trees where nobody can hear them, but they are there. Just waiting to be read.

So even though I never finished the NaNoWriMo goal, I hope there are others out there who take up the pen and write those 50,000 words. I hope there are others who take the challenge to kick start their writing careers. And I hope those others make their goal. Whether that goal is just to get the word count or to start their writing engines. But as for me, this November, like pretty much every November, I am just saying NO to NaNoWriMo.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

Share on facebook


Commenting is closed for this article.