Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Dear John Letter to NaNoWriMo

Dear NaNoWriMo,

We're through.

I know that you have enough people who love you and care for you that this break-up won't be difficult for you (Last collective word count of all NaNo'ers, everywhere, was 1,776,482,205 words), so really don't have a problem telling you exactly what I think of you.

You're a bad concept, NaNo. You suck.

No, no. Let me back up. I can be reasonable. Just because I'm feeling vehement and emotional about you ruining my life . . .doesn't mean I should be unfair.

You are not a bad concept. You're a bad concept for me, NaNo. This is why: you make me write crap, NaNo. You make me make bad novel decisions. You take away my ability to brainstorm between chapters. You make me rush through characterization. You make me pack filler in that will only get ripped out later, having taught me nothing about my novel. You make me into a bad writer.

You know what hurts me the most, NaNo? I want to write something meaningful. Something with subtext and theme. That's the reason I write, really. And you took that away from me. How could I possibly contemplate the greater picture when I was constantly chasing word count? What kind of conceptual boyfriend are you anyway? That you would make me write superficial tripe?

Oh, for weeks I believe your spiel: that it was okay that we were bad in the sack together now, that we'd get better with revising. But I see through your lies, baby. We will never get to sweet, sweet passionate love on the beach from where we are here. Basically, if we played the game your way, I'd end up rewriting every single word I wrote.

So this is me saying, I've been cheating on you. Since November 15th, I threw on the brakes, reread what I'd written, cut out huge parts, and started writing my novel the way I like to. And the difference is that now I have 23,000 words that I love. Instead of 50,000 words that I can't stand to read over.

But it took me a long time to get to that point, NaNo. Because you made me feel like I was turning my back on some great goal that I'd made. You hit me where it hurt, NaNo; you know that I don't like to give up a goal once I've made it. So here's where I say thanks. You taught me that not all goals are good goals. That some are picked up out of principle and aren't worth pursuing. You reminded me of what I used to always tell people in conjunction with my little goals speech: that you should choose your battles wisely.

And you aren't a good battle, NaNo. You're just a bad boyfriend and a lousy literary lay. I'm taking my Secret Novel and getting the hell out of this relationship before you can hurt us anymore! We'll be fine without you. Nay, better off without you! When you see me walking down the street with the hardcover edition of Secret Novel in 2012, looking fine, fine, fine with its deep theme and subtle characterization, I hope it makes you throw up a little in your mouth.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving.

50,000 superficial words of love,



ElegantSnobbery said...

Amen, sistah! Definitely a bad boyfriend!

I'm at 16,000K and I'm happy with what I've written so far.... after deleting all sorts of K in complete and total crap.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

HAHAHAHA! Awesome. So glad you dumped him.

Larissa said...

I had to dump him, too. *shakes head* He was just so unrealistic and demanding.

Not Hannah said...

My laptop died, which I took as a cosmic sign to dump the jerk, as well. Too much pressure (and the hickeys were obnoxious.)

Ella Press said...

I did the same a couple of weeks ago.
13k, and happy about it!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

haha this is great. I never officially signed up and I started a little before November, but I did finish so that's great...but I'm not sure I could have done it if I'd been too worried about Nano. I wrote when I could and wrote what I wanted.


Donna Gambale said...

"I hope it makes you throw up a little in your mouth." - the best ending possible.

Jazz said...

This is the best public break-up in the world. I made the mistake of trying NaNo twice. Then I realized NaNo makes me feel like crap and write nothing but crap. I will never go back!

By the way, I started a new feature on my blog and LINGER is the first (victim? lucky participant?) to be featured.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Heeheee. :D Glad I'm not the only one! Jazz, that is so cool!!!

paperback.pixie said...

I am in love with this. I've been miserable about being a blazing NaNo failure since...November 12ish. So, thank you!

storyqueen said...

Oh Dear God!! I thought I was the only one! That damn NaNo...he really gets around!!

Love your post!


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hee! Glad to know I could be supportive.

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