Well, ‘cause we are! It’s just that simple.
Oh, that’s not enough of an answer? Alright then.
Wrimos and Writers are awesome for many, many reasons. Far too many to list in this blog post. 50,000 words could be written on why we’re such a radical bunch of people. But the reason I bring it up is for one thing and one thing only:
We write well.
And I’m not talking about crafting beautiful stories, producing intricate tales and creating intriguing characters (all of which are true). No, I’m talking about literally writing well. We spell correctly (or take the time to spell check if we’re a little shaky on spelling), we use proper grammar and good punctuation. We understand when to use a comma and a full stop. We can smoothly slide semi-colons into sentences making them look like they belong. We know that excessively capitalising your words and whoring out exclamation marks makes people judge you.
Without going into a ton of detail about my real life work, I check applications for a cultural exchange programme from people wanting to, well, apply. Now, this is effectively a job application. People can be rejected, dropped and even see the application season out without a placement being offered to them. (It can be harsh, but that’s life.) So, you’d think that with it being a job application, spelling would be checked carefully, punctuation rules would be followed and emoticons would be nowhere in sight.
Oh how wrong you’d be. It upsets me on a daily basis how many mistakes I find in applications, how many basic rules of writing are broken. Talking about yourself? Capital ‘I’. Not sure how to spell the job title? Look it up! Start of a sentence? Capital letter. Nice smiley face at the end of the paragraph? No! Gods…
And that’s just the start of it! I’ve seen double negatives (“I had a no alcohol ban” Wow, really? You were banned from having no alcohol? How drunk did you get?), the dreaded “of” instead of “have”, and phrases such as “I done this” and “my friend and me”.
These people are all at least 18. They have all at least gone through a high school education. And yet far too many are incapable of stringing a basic sentence together. It really does make me feel dejected. And, what’s worse, I simply haven’t got the time to be emailing these people and asking them to spell check their application. There’s just that many! It makes me cringe how many applications have gone through our system with the word “alot” alone. (Every time I see it, I desperately want to email the person this.) How will these people cope when they have to apply for a “real job” out in the “real world?” I dread to think.
Last week, I spent fifteen minutes firmly deciding I was going to become an English teacher. For the good the world and my own sanity.
And this, dear Wrimos, is why I love you all and why you are a truly awesome breed of people. You don’t cause me the stress and heartache that comes with the butchering of the English language. You naturally work with it. Your subconscious is trained to want to write properly and well and coherently in all walks of life. It makes you twitch to see “txt spk” and you’d rather gnaw off an arm than knowingly submit any piece of writing anywhere with errors in it.
You even add new comments onto the forums when you notice your own typing error because there isn’t an edit button.
You keep me from losing my mind. (Yes, I check the forums at work. What, you don’t?)
Did you know that the NaNoWriMo website re-launched yesterday? Wait… you didn’t? GO! GO NOW! What rock have you been hiding under?
I woke up at 7:35am yesterday morning to find an email informing MLs that the new forums were live and they hoped by informing MLs first, any major bugs would be fished out before the hoards arrived. However, anybody who happened to wander through the website could clearly see it has been updated.
I was nearly late for work yesterday.
The NaNo forum re-launch is absolutely one of my most favourite times of the year. It’s like returning home from a really long holiday or coming back from university – everything is kinda different and there’s some new people around but there’s lots of familiar faces and threads and you settle straight back in like you’ve never been away. And seriously, yesterday, I was like a kid on Christmas. I dove straight in and ran around the forums happily squeeing and posting and definitely not getting ready for work which was why I was nearly late.
It’s really hard to explain to a non-NaNoer why it’s exciting. I mean, it’s a forum that looks kinda the same as it did last week but with all the threads wiped. Well, it’s more than that. It’s the start of the new season. Everyone knows that when the forums have relaunched, it’s NaNo time. By wiping all the old threads and clearing out the cobwebs, newbies who have never been on the forums before can join in just as easily as veterans because everyone is starting from scratch. Sure, you might not know who Mr. Ian Woon is or exactly what the Travelling Shovel of Death is, but you will very soon find out and you’ll find out with a whole host of other new people whilst the veterans delight in sharing their thoughts, memories and secrets.
NaNoWriMo really is just one big amazing family, when you think about it.
I’ve been a Beta Bugger this year and it’s epic to see all the things we’ve tested and broke and tested again come into play. Features which were turned off last year have come back in force! You can now jump straight to the newest post in a thread, hide the forums you’re not interested in seeing, have a signature and (all being well) an edit button! You know how much we desperately need an edit button again. I seem to make way more mistakes when there’s no edit button to help me out.
The forums are a huge part of the NaNoWriMo world. You can get literally anything you need on there. You want to celebrate? There’s a forum for that. Moan? That too! Need help researching? Yup, got that. Want to hang out with NaNoers your age? All there! Got an awesome novel but no title? Well, just ask! It is your one-stop-shop for all things writing. It’s one massive support network and the great thing is that no matter what time you step onto the forums, there’s always people around thanks to NaNoers coming from all around the world! You can even find people to chat to about anything but writing and to share fandoms with (which is a godsend when you come from a place where people think you’re nuts to have visited Cardiff to see Ianto’s shrine…)
If you’ve never been to the forums before, go now. Seriously. I’ll see you in a couple of hours. I couldn’t do NaNo year in, year out without the forums. They are my lifeline for part of the year, a drug that I only need for October and November.
Remember, my forum username is Kaleidoscope27. If you see me around (which, believe me, you will) feel free to say hi.