If there’s been one thing that’s been grinding my gears lately, it’s some of the anti-NaNoWriMo sentiment out there. Apparently there’s only one way to get stuff written (who knew?) and it isn’t NaNoWriMo (apparently). Those pieces that aren’t just clickbait will tell you that NaNoWriMo is a waste of time and if you were cool, you shouldn’t be doing it.
There’s only one absolute rule of writing and that’s in order to get published you have to complete work. That’s all. Get the words down and then worry about everything else from there. How you do that, how you go from having no words done to having all your words done is up to you. The internet is full of advice, and by all means check it and try it out, but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not for you.
Look at this way, to be a runner, you have to run. People don’t go around telling runners that the fact that they run down to the shops and back every night doesn’t make them a ‘proper’ runner. It’s not the speed or the distance that makes someone a runner. It’s not how they run. Oh of course, there’s always some guy; some guy ready to tell the world that unless they run exactly like he does then you can’t call yourself a runner. But you, I and the rest of the world knows that this is bullshit and the guy is just an arsehole.
No, what makes people a runner is that they run regularly. They go for runs. By the same principle if you write, you’re a writer, and whether you are a pantser or a plotter, whether you find NaNoWriMo works for you or not, doesn’t enter into it.
So if you’re worried that you want to NaNoWriMo but think that if you do, it’ll somehow ruin your career, you can slap that shit right out of you now. Likewise, you’re under no obligation to do it. Doesn’t make you any more or less a writer as long as you get the work done.
For my part this year, I’d hoped to start Thunder of Crows but I’m feeling that I’m behind on Thieving King (this book is HUGE and despite a lot of hard work I feel like I’ve made no progress). I need to really push on with it. So for my NaNoWriMo I’m just hoping to get more of it done. Is it cheating? Actually no, but I couldn’t care whether it was or not.