I also started following the #nanowrimo hashtag on Twitter. So every couple of minutes - night and day - someone tweets about their current word count, or their current plot twist, or their current procrastination technique .... it's interesting, fun and motivating to see all these other people attempting what you're attempting at the same time.
this article by Salon's Laura Miller - pop over and read it.
When I read the article I had mixed feelings. One one hand, I agreed with some of the points this sharp if a bit snarky woman made. As a writer, as a reader, as an editor - even as a woman somewhat riding the edge of this year's nanowrimo bandwagon. I'm sure many of these quickly written novels will have plot holes and poorly developed characters - but that's what the rewriting process is for. EVERY writer must revise their first draft.
Besides, a flawless novel in 30 days isn't the goal or the point. The point is in attempting it. In the discipline of making yourself stay with something difficult for 30 days. In the process of the journey. And in the pleasure of trying to scale this mountain "together."
Mostly, I was saddened that she'd just kicked in the teeth a community project aimed at helping people try something new, nurture their creativity, or fulfill a goal they've long held. What's the matter with her? I wondered. She's a writer herself. Exactly when did cynicism become the calling card of today - making snarky tear downs applauded? When did it become a crime to try your hand at something, to be a beginner, an amateur. To find out what you're good at and what you enjoy through trial and error?
I also came across Seth Godin's assessment of laziness this week and couldn't help wonder if the type of attitude displayed in the Salon article drives our fear-based laziness. Seth wrote:
"I think laziness has changed. It used to be about avoiding physical labor. The lazy person could nap or have a cup of tea while others got hot and sweaty and exhausted. Part of the reason society frowns on the lazy is that this behavior means more work for the rest of us.
When it came time to carry the canoe over the portage, I was always hard to find. The effort and the pain gave me two good reasons to be lazy. But the new laziness has nothing to do with physical labor and everything to do with fear. If you're not going to make those sales calls or invent that innovation or push that insight, you're not avoiding it because you need physical rest. You're hiding out because you're afraid of expending emotional labor."
Then I came across this rebuttal article to Salon's and I wanted to stand up from my office chair and clap. I wanted to thank Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times for being both a clear, critical thinker and an affirmer of courage and hope.
Hope is a precious commodity. And I for one want to be sower of it. Call me a freckle-faced Annie, but I'd prefer to believe the sun will come out tomorrow. I'd prefer to keeping writing this manuscript I'm working on with the belief that - no matter the outcome - it will be worth the ride. And I prefer to dream that perhaps the next NY Times best-selling novel will be written by someone whose Tweets I read this week.
Thankful that with God, hope is always available.