Writing, Media, NaNoWriMo, Braaaains

I am not a natural fan of zombies. I came to zombies late in life, through The Walking Dead (the comic, not the show). Most of my life, if I had been inclined to use the term “zombie,” it would have been in Stan the Man’s verbiage–I was a Marvel Zombie from my rotting brain to my rotting feet.

Zombies are a really good symbol of capitalism, globalism, the torrent of information–an apocalyptic wave eating our brains. Who hasn’t felt that way on eBay? I want to stop looking at guitars. I don’t NEED need another guitar. But unlimited window-shopping is such a wonderful time-killer. Unlimited Facebook feeds in which my friend from high school got a new dog and people are reblogging articles about news and philosophy and science.

And so that brings me around to my favorite/least favorite time of year, NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it most of the last few years, with a break in 2012. This year I’m not really sure if I’ll do it. I registered and came up with a novel and then came up with a better one, but I’ve never, not once in my life, been this busy at work, and my competitive nature makes NaNo exhausting.

I love NaNo for this reason: who thought the Internet could make writing feel like a party? It’s the ultimate misanthropic activity and NaNoWriMo makes it into a giant marathon–people cheer and make you feel great for what is, really, a questionable personal choice.

Salon hates NaNoWriMo. I think they miss the reasons why NaNo is a phenomenon.

We all need more actual books, I’ll give them that. Read more books. Read fewer Facebook feeds and interesting articles and message boards.

NaNoWriMo, though, is part of a collective battle against that zombification. In order to deal with the tidal wave of information coming from the Internet, writers of the generation that has embraced NaNo–and most of the NaNos I know are in college–take a month to frenetically reaffirm the value of a story they can tell. It’s a kind of shout against the darkness. A valiant defense of our own brains.