I have a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is a strange relationship to have when I’ve never attempted to participate. Partly that’s because I don’t write fiction, but even if I did, I chafe against many community initiatives—I’m just not a joiner.
NaNoWriMo is about more than that, of course, and I’ve long seen the good it can do. It leads to a couple vital things for the writing life: commitment and practice. I’ve always remembered this quote from Anne Morriss about commitment: “The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” That, I think, is the value of NaNoWriMo.