And I feel like NaNoWriMo leads people to believe that it is a straightforward process: begin here, end here, in the span of a month. It isn’t for me (maybe others).
And I find that a lot of people DO end there. Ideally, and this sometimes happens, NaNoWriMo gives people a taste of work they really like and then they just keep going. But I think a lot of people indulge the same process of doing it only in November and then letting their creative muscle atrophy over the course of a year and do it again.He nails my criticism of Nano culture:
I’ve mentioned that I’m kind of annoyed with “lol writer” culture: a specific part of our work that leads people to do an awful lot of TALKING about writing and very little writing. To some folk, it’s all about joking about cocktails, making lengthy posts about the “perfect” writing environment, sitting in coffeehouses and whatnot. There’s a lot of talk about the process and not a lot of talk about the craft.After watching a talk by Nanowrimo founder Chris Baty on writing, I read the comments section - it might have been a chatroom with real time comments, I can't recall. There was a huge discussion on the perfect 'writer's snack'. The consensus was frozen, peeled, seedless grapes. There wasn't a lot of talk about writing.
My definition of creativity is 'production of novel material'. I have lots of novel ideas. I haven't produced all that many. Or, I have but it's been in the service of other's goals. My PowerPoint slides for the classes in ESL that I teach are well organized and I do what I can to keep students engaged. I do excellent work with the textbooks I have been assigned but I have dreams of making my own books, focusing on actions, making and asking questions. I have handwritten some outlines but nothing has come of them.
Something has come of my creative writing ideas and I have Nanowrimo to thank for that. My stories are not complete but they are further advanced than they would have been. Sykes is right, but not entirely. I am trying out being a writer and learning if this is what I want to do. My grammar and presentation of ideas has improved and I feel I am a better reader now, knowing a little of what it takes to write.