NaNoWriMo..It's that time again...
NaNoWriMo—the annual event writers of all stripes look forward to with a combination of fear and excitement. The thought arouses so many butterflies in fact, that it’s hard to separate the two emotions.
You can use that.
You can channel that fear and that excitement to make sure you don’t quit. So, you didn’t make your writing goal yesterday, but you’ve still got a shot at it today. And every day for the month of November.
If you can schedule time, do it. Turn off your phone, your email, your Instagram notifications. Block out the rest of the world and focus. If you can’t schedule time to write, do it while you’re standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for the coffee to brew, or brushing your teeth.
There’s no time for regrets.
There’s no time for planning.
All you have is the page—physical or electronic—in front of you, and the words you are piling onto it. Editing can wait.
The goal is to write 50,000 words between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30.
How is up to you. You can do as I (Clare) do and simply decide that you’re going to give it a shot. No props, no pals, no preparation. Just writing—as always—in isolation.
Or you can do it with friends, feverishly texting your word counts at the end of each day. Or giving each other a jump start in the mornings.
Or you can do it by registering on the NaNoWriMo site and meeting up with other writers there.
Or you can broadcast your plans to the world on social media. On Twitter, for example, you can meet other writers under one of the #NaNo hashtags. And there’s #NaNoCoach for help.
Pshaw, you say. Won’t work. Novels need to be as carefully written as they are thought out.
Pshaw, says NaNoWriMo. Hundreds of authors have been traditionally published with a novel they started during NaNoWriMo, according to the site.
They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.
My goal? To finish the novel I’m currently working on—A Victorian romantic-suspense—that I plan to self-publish next year. It’ll be the first in a three-book series.
That’s your focus. Dictate. Skip the editing (for now). Just create. One word in front of the other. You got this.
In the end, you’ll have a pile of words. And that’s good. As romance queen Nora Roberts says, “You can't edit a blank page.”
As always, get in touch if you’d like help. If you need a word of advice, a pat on the back, or just a listening ear, we’re here.