Despite a few persistent voices decrying NaNoWriMo as an insincere stunt that overwhelming results in unreadable dreck, the yearly binge-writing contests inspires armies of cheerleaders who vociferously chant out its virtues … and drown out its critics.
But, I am skeptical of how sincere (or, at least, how well-thought-through) these paeans to the month really are.
So, here’s my suggestion to prove once and for all that NaNo’s trumpeters really believe what they say. Let’s declare December “National NaNoWriMo Reading Month” (or Na-NaNoWriMo-ReMo) on the model of National Novel Reading Month.
The rules? Well, for NaNoReadMo you have to read four books of at least 50k words. For Na-NaNoWriMo-ReMo, you have to read randomly selected NaNoWriMo entries until you have completed the equivalent of NaNoReadMo: 200,000 words worth.
Not the published novels. Not the “winners.” A genuine, randomly selected, representative sample of all participants. Then you will know what NaNoWriMo is really all about.
If you can do that, then you have earned my respect as a sincere believer in this “celebration of writing.”