If you're not a writer or you don't have many (or any) writer friends, you might not know that November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as "NaNoWriMo". If you didn't know this, lucky you. No, seriously.
Right now, as I scroll through Facebook and Twitter, I pass one NaNoWriMo related post after another. For the remainder of the month, I'll be inundated in them.
Mine is not a popular opinion, but besides thinking that NaNoWriMo is a ridiculous name, I also happen to dislike the concept quite a lot. I'm not shy about saying so either. (Thus, this post.) I've heard the top three reasons people like NaNoWriMo, and I have answers to all of them. Let me share.
It encourages you to get in the habit of writing every day.
I don't think anyone should feel pressured to write every day. Also most writers who participate in NaNoWriMo don't continue this habit for the other 11 months in the year.
Personally, I don't need need any extra encouragement to write. I have a personal word goal. If I make or exceed it, great. If not, I'll try again another day.
Participating in NaNoWriMo won't change this habit one way or the other. Also, I feel like it's kind of braggy to post my word counts every day.
It fosters a sense of community and positivity between writers.
I didn't know this was lacking December through October.
A sense of community between writers doesn't seem to ebb in months outside of November. Just look at how few authors will leave negative book reviews. Sure, there's an uptick of cheerleading that goes on during NaNoWriMo, but again, I don't really need this to write.
If you find this beneficial, then knock yourself out. I won't say it's bad to feel encouraged. I simply don't need validation from other writers to keep writing. I get very cranky if I don't write. Avoiding that bad mood is encouragement enough.
We're really going to have to agree to disagree on this one in particular.
What is fun about being strapped to your writing and told you should bang out an average of 1500 words or more a day? That sounds like homework to me.
(Don't read this part, kids.)
I didn't always do my homework when I was in school -- grade school, high school, and college -- because I thought homework was stupid. I still do. So I don't see why I would want to do writing homework now.
I write what I write, when I write it, how I write it. That's never going to change, just because someone declared this was the month to write a novel.
If you want to participate in NaNoWriMo, that's 100% your choice. I'm not telling you not to. I'm telling you why I never will.
If you're like me, and you're looking to avoid the NaNoWriMo posts this month, come on over to my Facebook page or my Twitter account. I guarantee you won't see one single post encouraging writers to get their counts in or bragging about my count for the day.