Today is November 1, which means it's once again time for NaNoWriMo. For those of you who think I'm talking more nonsense than usual, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to crank out a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.
During my general blog surfing, I'm always surprised by how many reader bloggers turn out to be aspiring authors. Naturally, several of them are going to be participating in NaNoWriMo.
I'll admit it, I'm a little touchy on this subject of reader/reviewer/aspiring author. You have to look at my history. Back when I landed in the online romance community (back when dinosaurs walked the Earth) - you had three major sources for romance novel reviews. The Romance Reader, All About Romance, and Mrs. Giggles. Certainly other sites joined in later - but those were really The Big Three. What separated TRR, AAR and Mrs. G from the print publications that reviewed romance (and really, there weren't that many of those either) were that all three would occasionally ::gasp:: not care for a book. Unfavorable reviews happened.
This was a foreign concept for a lot of authors, and naturally some of them weren't happy. Mud-slinging commenced. These sites were accused of enjoying "slash-and-burn" style reviews. All we did was nit-pick stories to death. Which was a bunch of horse-hooey. As a former TRR reviewer I can tell you I wrote way more favorable reviews (A, B, C grades or 5, 4 and 3 Hearts) than I ever did unfavorable (D and F or 2 and 1 Hearts). But the perception was that we had it "out" for romance writers. This naturally brought up that old charge that all of us were a bunch of jealous, nasty biddies who ripped apart "good" books because we were "frustrated would-be wannabe writers." Since our crap manuscripts had no doubt been soundly rejected all over New York, we decided to build up our little egos by shredding the work of more talented and published writers.
Sadly, this bit of nonsense still gets tossed around to this day - only this time the targets include not only "old guard" reviewers, but fairly new on the scene bloggers as well.
Now certainly I'm not saying there is anything wrong with reader bloggers being aspiring writers. What I am saying is that not all reader bloggers have that desire or aspiration. Some of us, truly, have no desire to write. Of which I am one.
I've long said that if I ever were crazy enough to try my hand at writing a book, romance would be the very last genre I would pick. Why? Because hot damn, all that emotional "stuff" is damn hard to write! And then you have to make it believable! Holy mother - no way in heck could I do that. Nope. If I were going to write, I'd pick a crime novel (because I'm blood-thirsty) or straight-up erotica (because I'm a deviant). But not a romance. I don't have it in me.
This all being said, I don't really want to write. Besides the fact it's hard, I lack a little thing called desire. When you write, you have to want it. You have to work for it. You have to sit your ass in the chair, and write. You have to write when you don't feel like it. Write when the words won't come easy. Write when you'd rather have bamboo shoots shoved underneath your fingernails. It's hard work. Hell, if it wasn't hard every John and Janie Yokel would fancy themselves being able to do it.
And actually, some of them do. Take it from the librarian who routinely receives unsolicited, self-published "manifestos." ::shudder::
So for those of you out there with aspirations to one day be published - I salute you. It's hard work. I appreciate that it's hard work. Which is why I don't do it. That, and the fact that I lack a little thing called talent. And drive. And anything remotely resembling ambition.
How many of you blog and are aspiring writers? How many of you blogged as aspiring writers and have since been published? And how many of you are like me and have no aspirations whatsoever?