A little bit of rage never hurt anyone

Posted on September 22, 2011

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So November’s coming up, and I rather look forward to this particular month each year. Not only does it herald the end of my Uni work for the last 12 months (and graduating!), and not only does my birthday fall within this date, but this is the time for NaNoWriMo!

Yaaaay... Oh God it's back...

I don’t know if everyone knows about National Novel Writing Month, so I’ll give you a quick rundown. Basically, the idea is to write, non-stop, from midnight November 1 to midnight November 30, and the goal is to reach 50,000 words. You are not allowed to go back, edit, change, alter or correct anything. Simply keep going forward, make notes of the changes in a book, and forge ahead. It is understood that you will create a whole lot of crap, but the idea is to get the allotted words out in the allotted time, and then spend the next few months going back, editing, changing, altering and correcting.

Many have greeted the month of November with varying degrees of excitement, nervousness and sheer terror. For some it is realizing a dream. For others it is setting aside a month to do something they really want to do. Regardless, they have forged ahead into waters unknown.

Only to be greeted with this.

What the...

Found here: <http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/2010/11/02/nanowrimo>

To say that I am disgusted is too light a word. Not only with the pretentiousness of Miller, but with the neglect and inadequacy of Salon itself. I am absolutely appalled that a senior writer is able to pen an article like this, and I cannot help but judge a news site that would endorse it. So she’s a co-founder, and that gives her the right to have an obnoxious opinion and broadcast it over the internet? I’m not upset that she said it. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about NaNoWriMo. What I take issue with is that she has posted it on a news site, and it looks more like a blog rant entry. Which is what this is.

How is that professional? At all?!

It is unprofessional, it is rude, it is obnoxious and it is disheartening to see in the professional arena. And what is it that she says? Utter tripe.

Well that's obvious

I have had a busy, stressful year, and NaNo has been something I have looked forward to in order to set aside time to do what I really, really love; writing. An excuse to hurl myself at my work, regardless of my own doubts, fears and insecurities, and simply forge ahead and produce something that I have worked hard for.

And even without all of this, one simple fact remains.

I am a writer. Writing is my dream, and has always been my dream. It gives me life, it fulfils me. It’s the blood that flows through my veins. The act of creating something from my mind and making it tangible and real is unbelievably fulfilling to me. I want to write, and be good at writing. And even if I did not, even if what I wrote was the most appalling piece of crap that could be hammered at a keyboard, what right does she have to naysay me? What right does she have to naysay any of these wonderful people who are embracing a dream, something that many people do not have the courage to do?

And in the professional arena, for God’s sake.

....What the...

Oh come on. Does she truly believe that the reader is something that will disappear if not encouraged and cherished? People pour billions of dollars into reading each year. Look at the hubbub that emerged from Twilight, and we all know that was tripe. But millions of people have read Twilight, whether they thought it was good or not, whether they liked it or not. The reader isn’t going anywhere, and to be a successful writer, a writer has to read. They have to know the market, they have to know the standard and they have to know the competition.

Thanks for the acknowledgement, lady

It seems that the most important thing that Miller has forgotten is not that every writer throws their manuscripts at the public and demands that they read them in a fit of self-righteous fury. A good writer learns to cherish rejection and learn from it. A good writer knows that a rejection of their work is not a rejection of themselves. Most of all, a good writer writes something that is publishable and saleable. That is all that the publishers care about. Not whether or not the work is good. Not whether or not the work is talented, or worthy of publication.

Case in point

It is about whether or not it will make money.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am facepalming

Miller obviously knows next to nothing when it comes to getting published, or being a writer, as she said. In fact, if anything, this piece tries to draw attention to the fact that she is a poor reader beset by bad fiction and writing and she needs to be saved from all the terrible writers.

Take it up with the publishing houses, babe. That’s where they come from. Leave the writers struggling with their passion alone.

Look at me! Aren't I fantastic?

Perhaps she believes that she has achieved some sort of elitist status by being a co-founder of a news site. Perhaps she believes that she is somehow superior to all those aspiring professional writers, forgetting that once, she was one once.

Is this what we have to look forward to in the professional domain?

If so, I am damn glad I chose not to do journalism.

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