Dear NaNo: Please Stop

Okay NaNo, here’s the thing.

You’re great, you really are. Your challenging and encouraging and friendly and whimsical.

I was a little nervous when Anita introduced us a few years ago. You were so daring! So fun! I wasn’t sure you’d want me hanging out with you.

But you did! And it was so much fun! You introduced me to all your other friends and pushed me to challenge myself.

It was awesome.

NaNo, you’ve changed.

And you’re still challenging and encouraging and friendly and whimsical.

You are also frenetic and loud and pretty clingy. What happened?

Even our Big Date Night is too much . . . it used to be a fun write-in, but now I can’t think because you’re always giving speeches and ringing bells and announcing things. It’s like you can’t be alone without going crazy.

You’re always talking.

You’re an extrovert, I get it. That’s great! I love hanging out with extroverts.

I’m an introvert. And that means I need quiet time. I need time to focus. I need a few words of stalwart encouragement here and there. I don’t need you sending me tweets and emails 24/7 telling me how awesome you are, and how awesome I am for being friends with you. I know you’re awesome, but not everyone can maintain your level of energy in a relationship. Especially for a straight month . . . and then you don’t stop! You’re an engine of enthusiasm run on caffeine and sugar!

And for me, caffeine and sugar aren’t the energy-boosters they seem to be for you. My body can’t maintain your lifestyle. I know you like me anyway, but I still feel left out.

I know you were like this when I agreed to go out with you, but you’ve become more intense. Wombats and unicorns don’t reassure me the way you seem to think they do. Neither do exclamation points.

I almost wish you had a quiet twin, maybe a @NaNoQuiet, that would chirp up every once in a while with a stalwart go-get-’em tweet. No word wars, no sprints, no constant announcements that you’re around to help like Clippy the ill-fated mascot. I know where you are, and I’ll ask for help if I need it. And no wombats. (Well, all right, a wombat every now and again would be okay. I’m not anti-wombat, or anti-whimsy. I’m anti-inundation.)

I guess I’m saying some of us, NaNo, are feeling pushed away. Maybe we’re going in different directions now, and that’s okay. But I’d like to think we can still hang out.

I’m going to try it again once more, but I thought that in all fairness, NaNo, I ought to tell you why this may be the last time.

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3 thoughts on “Dear NaNo: Please Stop

    • The website is not itself a problem. It’s just the whole culture is collectively moving toward a social frenzy norm. I mean, there was no way I was staying up til midnight so I could start at the earliest possible moment, because I think that’s stupid. That means you get less sleep and are less likely to write better later that day. But it’s the _proscribed_ norm. Like, if you’re not staying up til midnight, then maybe NaNo isn’t for you. Which isn’t true at all, but that’s what the message is becoming.

      Of course, I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the new sight. I know there are “badges” now, and “things to do.” Like, to participate in NaNo, you have to do MORE than write. And if you don’t do those things, then are you really participating? Again, I’m sure NaNoHQ would say “Of course you are!” but those are not the signals going out. Not that there can’t be TWO signals: you can stay up late or you can go to bed. But you have to PARTICIPATE WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS WHATEVER YOU DO!!! #NANO #NANOPREP #NANOWRIMO #WOMBATS

      • Huh… I didn’t know staying up on the 31st was a Thing.

        If they’re going to have the NaNo badges, I think they could at least not have them sitting on your dashboard all ghosted out until you earn them. Have you noticed that? One of them you “earn” just by updating your word count.

        Why wombats?

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