The library in my town is promoting National Novel Writing Month, which starts this November. Before I had time to research the event online, I have already found a grinch who’s upset that people want to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Her name is Laura Miller, and she is a staff writer and one of the co-founders of Salon.com. I was simply perusing Google for articles about this national writing event because it’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I was curious because I have always wanted to write a novel. “Why not research and participate?” I thought. “I could write a novel in a month…maybe.”
Laura Miller appears to think otherwise. Her opinion, in an article titled, “Better yet, DON’T write that novel,” is for me to do exactly what she has stated in the title. You can find the article here. I don’t know why she bothered to write an entire article when she’s already told me how she feels. “Okay, Laura, I get it. You’re having a bad day. But honestly, National Novel Writing Month can’t be that bad, can it? Just tell me why you think that.”
Laura’s opinion is that the organization’s mission is a load of crap. Their mission is essentially for anyone to reach a goal of writing 50,000 words by the end of November. They are hoping to promote the importance of writing every day, and making that a daily routine. For Laura, this means that people who have no business writing a novel will attempt to do so. Even though she’s not a publisher reading these manuscripts, it pisses her off. I mean, how dare these people try their handing at writing? The nerve!
She goes on to dash the dreams of writers everywhere, saying that it’s a waste of time because 1. You suck at writing if you aren’t a published author already, 2. No one reads novels anymore, and 3. We should be reading, not writing. Laura Miller is the Grinch Who Stole National Novel Writing Month. The end of her article commends two women who began an event in which they read a lot of books. Those women knew their place: they should only read books, not write them!
My challenge for us is not only to DO National Novel Writing Month, but also to prove this Laura Miller woman, and all people like her, wrong. Just because arrogant writers believe that anyone who isn’t a published author shouldn’t dare try to write, I believe we have that right. Perhaps Laura has become a Grinch because she one day realized she could never write a novel, and she has been since out to crush the dreams of others? In my opinion, as long you’re not waving your novel in my face, you can write as much as you damn well please.
My advice to Laura Miller is to get off her high horse and let people have fun. Maybe if we all write amazing novels, she’ll realize what she’s missing and look down from her cave at the top of the mountain, watching us dance around the Christmas tree. Maybe she’ll participate next year. Her tiny heart will grow, and she’ll celebrate by writing every day of November away, spreading joy to all.