I’ve been a participant in NaNoWriMo since 2004. I win some. I lose some. This year, though, I decided to step away from the madness and just keep on doing my own thing for November while cheering on my friends who NaNoed.
Obviously, I think the event has its moments. It can be wildly fun. The local events are awesome ways to meet up with other people who share your interests in your geographical area. The forums can be a hoot.
What’s not a hoot is their budget. I got an (unsolicited – I told them not to email me anything) email asking for donations to cover their budgetary gap this year, with a link to this graphic:
A million dollars. $1,000,000. That’s a lot of zeroes.
NaNo is a lot of fun, but there’s a little voice in the back of my head that keeps whispering that this 501(3)(c) charity and the tax deductible donations they take in every year… well, a million dollars could be a lot of people fed. A lot of coats and gloves and hats for the homeless. A lot of shelter and pure water for disaster relief. A lot of books for under-served populations.
I seem to remember when NaNoWriMo donations went toward building libraries, actually. Then again, the operating costs back then were a couple zeroes smaller. NaNo is fun, no doubt. I’m just wondering if it’s fun enough to justify this price tag, and if my donation wouldn’t be better spent somewhere else this year.
This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo and, although I’ve felt a bit guilty, I didn’t donate anything. I’m a writer – I don’t have any money! (And I don’t like giving my credit card information out over the Internet willy nilly.)
This post really helped me feel much less guilty about not donating. So, thanks!