NaNoWriMo is actually ORPTTPHEWI

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Besides the days getting colder, the darkness beginning early and the increase in general bitterness, November also has a horrible acronym among writers called — NaNoWriMo. Which stands for National November Writing Month or something, otherwise known to writers as “Ordinary-People-Trying-to-Prove-How-Easy-Writing-Is” Month or because we need an acronym: ORPTTPHEWI.

ORPTTPHEWI is annoying for a whole bunch of reasons, most of them detailed in this Christian Science Monitor piece. I will now dispel all five of these reasons below.

1) Notching 1600 words plus in a cohesive narrative is hard. You have to have something to write about. You have to find a story. You might actually want to think about stuff like character and character traits and their attributes. You might have to think of things for the characters to do. This takes time in between the words.

2) Sure, there's a writing community for NaNoWriMo. But they don't know what they're doing. And you don't know what you're doing. You will hand your novel to them at the end of the month, and they will pick it apart while simultaneously handing you their manuscript. You read their one-month novel and realize it's crap. You're afraid they think your novel is crap. Soon the emails you receive from them go in your “spam” folder and you make no compunction to change your mail settings. The same happens to your emails to them. Eventually you forget this whole “writing” thing ever happened, though it's still odd at parties sometimes.

3) There is no huge celebration at the end, just the dog begging to go pee and rejection letters and stale coffee and processed chocolate bars and editors acting like you don't exist and a deep sense of guilt about production and consumption and work in modern society.

4) Writing is not fun. It's a job. Divine inspiration rarely strikes for 30 days in a row. It's not fun, it's work. It takes a devotion beyond some simple gimmick. And this blasted NaNoWriMo keeps going because the NaNoWriMo people probably realize they make more money off of tricking people into writing than by actually writing themselves.

5) We don't all have a novel hiding in us somewhere, instead I believe we have buildings hiding in us somewhere. That doesn't mean architects and engineers and construction companies are giving us a month to build whatever we want, wherever we want it.