I have to wonder at the rants from NaNoWriMo haters. They go on at length about how NaNo participants are deluding themselves and how NaNo is not just a waste of time, but a counterproductive, poisonous opiate. Most offensive, apparently, is that NaNo writers believe they are writing novels, when anyone who knows anything about writing knows that they are just puking out worthless crap, with no resemblance to a real novel written by a real novelist
What are the haters so afraid of?
It takes work to be a novelist. Writing, re-writing, editing, navigating the treacherous waters of publication: all of these are difficult. Someone who's done it has every right to feel good about having accomplished something. Is this pride of accomplishment so fragile that it has to be defended with handfuls of broken bottles thrown backwards?
You know what you never see? You never see marathon runners sitting by the sidelines of a 5K Fun Run, shouting at the participants that they aren't really runners. You never see plumbers and carpenters walking through Home Depot telling the DIY crowd that they are delusional if they think that their knocked-together little home improvement projects are any good. You never see business owners sneering at the kid in the fast food drive-thru that she's not really a worker because her dead-end McJob is pathetic.
Actually, though, you do see that kind of sneering sometimes, don't you? Having attained a couple of rungs on the ladder, some people's first instinct is piss down at those still below. It's always distasteful to witness because it seems so needless and pathetic.
The novels produced during NaNoWriMo will be terrible. Everyone understands this. For many, perhaps for most, having produced a terrible novel will be enough. Some will want to go further. Either they will want to edit that terrible NaNo novel and make it a good novel, or they will try to write another, better novel. Odds are, that one will be bad, too. How many will go on to try again? I can guarantee that no one writes a good novel without having first written a lousy one.
And no one writes a lousy novel without having at least one horrid, underdeveloped mess under their belts.
The book you write during NaNo is not the accomplishment; the new you is the accomplishment. Learn from your NaNo experience and go on to lead a better life. Even if you never write another word, you can, if you choose, see the world with new eyes. NaNo isn't the only life experience that can change you for the better (if you let it), but it's concrete, with defined rules and goals. It's pretty well organized, low cost, communal and communally supportive.
How do I interpret NaNoWriMo rage? "I work my ass off to be a writer; how dare you call yourself one after producing that half-baked, half-formed, half-literate slop?" I interpret it as insecurity.
===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.