Sunday, December 03, 2006

The end of National Novel Writing Month

At precisely 12:00 A.M. on December 1, National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. November) came to a close. I talked to one of my friends tat had participated in the event, and she was very excited to say that she had made it to 50,000 words. I asked her immediately thereafter whether or not her story made any sense. It didn't, but that's not the point of NaNoWimo, she told me.

Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but what's the point of writing a novel if essentially the entire thing is meaningless. You might as well have written the sequal to Trainspotting, and nobody would notice. Perhaps I value my time more than some other people. If you're going to write a story, you should have at least one of four goals: One, to craft a story that is meaningful or pricessless - one that can be remembered long after you're gone; two, to write a book that can be published for monetary gain; to author a tale from which you may derive enjoyment; or four, to write a parable relating to the current state of society and what the current state of affairs means.

NaNoWriMo would most likely fall under category number three for most participants, but I'm exactly sure where the reason of "Because I can" falls. You see, there are a lot of things we can do but shouldn't. It can take a person anywhere from one hour to three to write 1,500 words. (A steady pace of 1,667 words per day for thirty days can win NanoWriMo.) That's a potential investment of 30 hours to 90 hours in one month. You should really have no better opportunities to write a 50,000 word novel. I dropped out after the tenth day, because I realized that the activity just wasn't worth my time.

I'm not typing this simply because I'm jealous of the people that won National Novel Writing Month. I mean that our time on Earth is short. Spending a great deal of it on an activity that undertaken simply because it can be done is useless. There is no point in acting on impulse when rational thought can compensate tenfold. I learned that the hard way. After sinking 15 hours into NaNoWriMo, I decided that the novel wasn't worth my time, and I pursued other activities, enterprises that I appreciated more than the novel I stopped writing.

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