NaNoWriMo No More

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This piece by Laura Miller will get a lot of attention because of her outright contempt for NaNoWriMo, but I like her argument in favor of celebrating readers--the real endangered literary species--instead of writers:

Rather than squandering our applause on writers -- who, let's face, will keep on pounding the keyboards whether we support them or not -- why not direct more attention, more pep talks, more nonprofit booster groups, more benefit galas and more huzzahs to readers? Why not celebrate them more heartily? They are the bedrock on which any literary culture must be built. After all, there's not much glory in finally writing that novel if it turns out there's no one left to read it.

If the first piece of universally accepted writing advice is "Write every day," then the second is "Read a lot." Let's promote that instead of encouraging would be writers to burn themselves out in a month and never want to write again. As my friend Claire Zulkey says of NaNoWriMo, "STOP RIGHT NOW. GO GET A SCONE." And take a book with you.