War of Words on NaNoWriMo

Again, Mike Mullen has shared some interesting news. There’s a bit of a war of words going on with anti- and pro- NaNoWriMo sides.

The ‘war’ all seems to have started with Laura Miller’s piece in Salon on why she thinks NaNoWriMo is a waste of time:

Better yet, DON”T write that novel.

Which starts with the blurb:  Why National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time and energy. And includes gems of lines like this one:  …  yet another depressing sign that the cultural spaces once dedicated to the selfless art of reading are being taken over by the narcissistic commerce of writing. And this (there were so many it was hard to choose!): Frankly, there are already more than enough novels out there — more than those of us who still read novels could ever get around to poking our noses into, even when it’s our job to do so.

Yeah, clearly this irked, oh, a bunch of people.  Carolyn Kellogg, in a piece in the LA times was particularly vociferous in the defense of NaNoWriMo: 12 Reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo.

She starts her piece with:

If you want to write a novel in 30 days, don’t let anyone stop you. Not even Salon’s Laura Miller. Miller, who I usually find thoughtful and sweet, has written an anti-NaNoWriMo column — “Better yet, DON’T write that novel” — that is at best wrongheaded, and at worst, smallhearted.

Of course now many others have weighed in on the fray. Agent Michael Bourret shared his opinions on both pieces here. [TK ] Reviews has their response here. I’m sure even more will be coming down the pike.

The main point everyone seems to have taken from Laura Millers piece is her assertion that too many wanna be writers aren’t readers, and that to be a writer you must also be a reader. An avid reader, hopefully. (For some reason I also get the impression she’s only talking about literary novels, not genre, but I can’t put my finger on why I think this).

What do you think of all this brouhaha?