So, 25 days into NaNoWriMo. I’m a little behind due to two days off during it, but unless something terrible happens between now and the end of the month, I should sail across the line.
One thing I’ve noticed from Twitter is that a small number of people really hate NaNoWriMo. There have been quite a few tweets RT’d into my timeline, especially at the start of the month, that have all had the same flavour to them. “Hey NaNoWriMo peeps! I do what you’re doing every day of the year!” “Oh, look! It’s NaNoWriMo! When everyone decides they can write a novel and then gives up in the third week!”
These tweets seem to raise a chuckle among the genre set, but I find myself at a loss to see why. They are suggesting that by taking part in NaNoWriMo that I am labouring under the misapprehension that writing a novel is easy. I’m not. They are suggesting that the idea that I can use the time to motivate myself to reach a target by a set date – that I can get my arse in the chair and work to a self-imposed deadline – makes me some sort of an idiot. Again, I’m not.
While everyone is entitled to an opinion, these kind of tweets feel like less than that. They feel like a cheap crack, a shot of self-validation at the expense of someone else’s endeavour.
Hey loser, they say, I am published. You are not. Why not just stop kidding yourself? You will never be greater than I.
Here’s my response: whatever. You’ve just lost a customer.
I started getting involved in the genre scene because I was interested in finding books to read – new voices, exciting voices – and even though I am constantly trying to improve my own writing, the fact that I love reading books will never go away. Ever. That said, I don’t care how good a book is, how flat-out brilliant it is – if the author can’t keep from slapping people down in order to validate themselves, I’m not even going to pick it up off the shelf.
And that’s the long and short of it. I could justify at length why I participate in NaNoWriMo and I reckon I could make a very convincing case for the value of the exercise. However, in this case I don’t need to. When someone drops a condescending tweet about another person’s hobby in order to make themselves feel better, then there’s only one thing to say:
Why bother with a tweet when what you really want is a wank? Your hand is right there.