Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jealous much?

Not everyone thinks that writing should be a torturous experience, although I understand that for some people it is.  I would like to be so bold as to suggest that if it is really that terrible, then don't do it.

As observed in the comments at the end of the article, Mr. Gresko has missed the point.  The point isn't great literature (although that is not ruled out as a possibility) but writing.  NaNoWriMo (I do not have the same aversion to the abbreviation that a writer who chooses to use a particularly erudite word like "hooey" in his headline) participants don't sit down and *try* to write crap.  They sit down and write.  The result might be terrible.  It might be good.  It might even be brilliant in spots.

The point is that the only way to write is to sit down and do it. Writing is writing. Preparing to write is not writing.  Thinking about writing is not writing.  Researching what you are going to write about is not writing.  Reading is not writing.  Talking about writing is not writing.  Writing is writing.

The goal is not to be bitter and complaining about how many years have gone by since the novel was started.  The goal is to put together fifty thousand words of prose fiction in thirty days.  I would even be willing to go so far as to say that the goal is to learn something in the process (even if the word count at the end of the month is less than fifty thousand) and a feeling of accomplishment when it is all over.

This is my second year taking the National Novel Writing Month challenge.  I learned quite a bit last year (although I have not touched that heap of writing since), and I am learning more this year.  One might even go so far as to say that I am building on last year's experience, and learning more about my writing means that I can improve it.

My suggestion to Mr. Gresko is that he stop wasting word count complaining about an activity enjoyed by thousands of people all over the world and get back to one of his unfinished novels.

That said, I am going to stop ironically expending word count on a blog post and get back to writing.


  1. Perhaps Mr. Gresko is jealous; he certainly is arrogant as he engages in writing fallacy laden prose. Perhaps he attempts humor??

    At first I thought,he should know the difference between "amount" and "number" as he writes "The amount of words I put on the page." However, his choice of "amount" may be appropriate is he envisions a lump of words, such as a batch of dough in the process of rising.

    He rights "if the words aren't any good..." Does he mean word choice, or does he mean the thoughts or concepts generated by the words chosen?

    It appears that Mr. Gresko did not spend even 1/100 of 720 hours composing his response to nanawrimo. Is this a first draft?
    Then again, maybe he did spend hours and revised several times. If so.....

    Mr. Gresko fails to recognize that the nanowrimo may be an appropriate vehicle for the struggling or even a not-so-struggling writer. That these writers are expecting more of themselves than he assumes.

    I agree with you, SMT, being a wrimo is lots of fun and challenging. Hail to all wrimos!!

  2. I think it likely that Mr. Gresko did not write the headline. "Hooey" does not appear in the body of the article. In the days of print journalism, headlines were sometimes by the editors, who fit words into the typography chosen for the headline.

    The more I read Gresko's article, the more convinced I became that "hooey" applied more the Gresko's writing than to NaNoWriMo efforts.