Tag Archives: rant

On NaNoWriMo and Quality of Writing.

I’ve been reading some blogs that have said, in various ways, that NaNoWriMo encourages bad writing. And they’d be right. However, it’s perfectly fine. And I’m going to tell you why.

National Novel Writing Month does not encourage the writing of a publishable novel in a month. It never has. That would be insane.

  1. It would be insane. This deserves to be repeated. I’m pretty sure that even the most seasoned writer would have trouble coming up with anything more than a first draft in a month. There are exceptions to any rule, but the majority of authors have lives outside of writing just like any other human being who has a job.
  2. No one in their right mind thinks that a first draft is publishable. Well, maybe some fan fiction authors. Anyway, see number one. If someone does actually try to submit what they wrote during NaNo to a publisher without editing, they’re in for a rude awakening. I’m pretty sure no one has any illusions as to the quality of their work coming directly out of the month.
  3. 50,000 words is rarely enough for anything but young adult fiction. Adult fiction tends to be longer if it isn’t in the romance or mystery genres, and young adult fiction is breaking the short book mold more and more. I mean sometimes it’s to excellent effect and sometimes the result is mediocre, but that’s true with everything.
  4. People are encouraged to write however they damn well please, whether that be working on one project or a number of projects, and as long as they meet the word goal they win. Just completely ignore the word ‘novel’ in the title. It’s really only meant to give an idea of the scope of the writing, not that an actual novel has to be completed. You’re writing enough words that it could, if it was good enough and not complete dreck, be a novel. That’s the accomplishment.
  5. It’s meant to give people a concrete, but not insane, goal. 50,000 words in a month isn’t really that insane. Seeing the goal and watching themselves meeting it is exciting and makes people want to write. Sometimes I wish that it was all about setting your own word goal, but I think that 50,000 words is a challenge that most people can do if they put their minds to it.
  6. NaNoWriMo allows people to do this at the same time, building relationships between writers and an encouraging community. Sure, the community could do with a lot more constructive criticism and a lot less meaningless back-patting, but it’s not that hard to find the type of community you need. There are plenty of people who do it for fun, but there are also plenty of people who do it very seriously every year. Ignore the people who aren’t doing your particular flavor of NaNo and just fucking write already.
  7. People being ridiculous hurts no one. It’s funny. Taking yourself too seriously as a writer is likely to stifle your creativity. Live a little. Write badly. It’s really the only way to learn to write well.
  8. There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with failing. Don’t make word count? Who the hell cares, you wrote ALL MONTH LONG. Good job. You get a gold star anyway. It’s not the winning that’s important, really, it’s the doing it.

So here’s the bottom line: NaNoWriMo does more good for writers than bad. Quit focusing on the ‘novel’ part of the title and, instead, focus on the ‘writing’ part. Once you’ve done so, feel free to go be negative somewhere else. Lots of young people do NaNoWriMo. Let’s not discourage our young people from writing, even if they do it badly.


I just watched “Bridegroom”.

I should probably preface this with the fact that there’s likely to be a lot of angry swearing in this post. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry in my entire life. If you haven’t seen this documentary, you should watch it. If you are against marriage for gay people, you should really watch this. If this documentary doesn’t, at the very least, make you question your stance against equal marriage, then I have to really wonder whether you’re actually human.

I have to say that the man who died would only be a year older than me, maybe only a few months. That really got to me, I think, because it made me think of my own mortality and that I really need to hold on to the love I have now. Anything could happen to me tomorrow and I don’t want to have regrets about anything that has happened in my life.

More than that, though, I have to stand up and fight for these rights. Even though it sickens me to think that they are things I have to fight for, and even though my own state legalized marriage for all quite some time ago, I can’t just put down my banner and be done until everyone has the right to be married. Do you know why?  Because of the exact situation that this documentary brings to light.

Shane and Tom were together for a pretty long period of time. In fact, if Tom hadn’t died, they would have been together for pretty close to the same amount of time my husband and I have been together. For the record, that’s 8 years. And you know what? They have every fucking right to celebrate those years as I do. But, moreover, I think that a lot of people need to watch this to realize what the lack of marriage rights does to same sex couples.

How would you like to be kept from your partner’s bedside as they lay dying? How would you like to be barred from the funeral of the person you so deeply love? How would you like it if their family was able to go through every little bit of your life together and take what they wanted because you have no legal right to it? How would you like it if you had no legal right to choose where your partner was buried? How would you like to have loved someone for years only to be swept under the carpet like unwanted dust because you had the audacity to be of the same sex?

And, see, it happens. This documentary proves it, but it isn’t the first time and it isn’t the last time it will happen unless we recognize that same sex couples love no differently than opposite sex ones. Religion is not a good enough reason to deny someone the right to marry,

And you know what makes me angriest? I pass as straight because I’m married to a man. Here’s the thing, though: I’m a bisexual woman and I’ve known that since I was in my early teens. I have a terrible amount of privilege in this. I don’t have to try and fight. I found the love of my life, and because he’s a man I will get no flack thrown at me. I think, though, that’s why I need to fight just as hard as anyone else. I’m not special. The love of my life just has the tab that fits in my slot. Somehow, this is the most important part of marriage. Can someone tell me why that is and why that shouldn’t be changed without spouting bible verses? If not, then I think it’s time we changed things, don’t you?

Marriage should be about love, not about the gender of the people being married. And no one should have to go through what this man did just because they aren’t the right sex in someone’s eyes.

I cry for this man tonight, and the man he loved and lost way too fucking soon. I cry for all the others who go through this shit and are never heard. I check my privilege and vow to fight for your right to marry and not have this shit happen to you ever again. I vow to be more vocal, and to try to reach out in my community to get other people to be more vocal as well. You shouldn’t have to fight for this, but because you do I will stand and fight with you. I couldn’t face myself if I did otherwise, and I don’t know how others can stand to deny you these rights.

I’m just so fucking angry right now.