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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Defense of NaNoWriMo

Yesterday around the blog world there was a bit of a controversy (I say controversy for lack of a better word, it wasn't bad) on NaNoWriMo.

Maggie Stiefvater (who we all love) came out with an Anti Nano blog post which actually really surprised me. I'd never heard anything bad about Nano before so it was strange to see a published author not liking it.

Her reasons are solid and I understand where she's coming from, but there's one point where I think we definitely disagree. She said in her post that doing Nano wasn't really realistic for publication because essentially your writing will be awful, and I have to say I agree with her on that...

But that's the point.

NaNoWriMo is not supposed to be a perfect novel. The point of Nano is to make you write. It makes you give yourself permission to write crap which honestly I feel is very important. I have tried many times to write whenever the inspiration hit me or whenever I had the time, but at the end of the day, I had no reason to keep going. I was writing so gradually that eventually I didn't care if it ever got finished because I lost the passion for it.

Nano is something that will make you keep going and if you reach 50,000 words or you finish your first draft in December you will have something completed to revise and you will be able to work with something. All first drafts are supposed to be crap, it's just how it works.

I mean I could spend a year writing a novel, but I honestly feel that I would get so into the editing that I wouldn't do much writing. I love Nano because it gives me permission to keep going.

I personally love knowing I have thirty days to do this. All the people in my life who know I'm participating do think I'm crazy, but that's okay and I'm fine with that. I just really love this story now and the more I write, the more I want to write. I've never felt like that before.

Everyone has a different writing style, but I personally need a word count goal and a deadline, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get anything done.

As far as publication goes it is definitely not impossible for your Nano book to be your break.

Just ask Courtney Allison Moulton, the author of the upcoming Angelfire, or Julie Kagawa, the author of the Iron Fey series.

This is my defense for Nano, how do you guys feel about it?

Is Nano good for the writer or is it destructive?


Katie said...

Great post Christina! I completely agree with you.

brandileigh2003 said...

I think that NaNo is wonderful!

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Lori said...

I've always had book ideas, but I can never fully commit myself to spending all the time it takes to write. So NaNo is a great tool for me. It gives me the motivation I need!
And I don't really mind if mine is crap, because by December 1st I'm going to know that I can write a book!

Missie said...


*standing ovation*

Thank you for this post! Love it! I think NaNo is great for all the reasons you mentioned!

Happy Writing!

Brooke said...

Totally agree! It get's writers into the habit of writing a set number of words a day. NaNo is great for procrastinators like me who need to be pushed until it becomes habitual!

I'm a new follower! Hoppin along!

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