It’s NaNoWriMo time again, and I feel a little ache of sadness that I’m only a wistful bystander this time around. What’s NaNoWriMo? It’s a month-long writing fest that happens each year, known as National Novel Writing Month. The goal of the each writer who signs up is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month. That’s nearly 2,o00 words each day, and it’s not easy. But it’s fun. The website is engaging, and encouraging, and full of helpful essays written by other writers.
I started the novel that I’m working on, All the Way to Nelson (its working title) last year during NaNoWriMo. Then I let it sit in the computer for a few months, then I started working on it again and have been working on it ever since. It has become an epic, a triligy-in-one-volume, a mammoth undertaking. Every time I think about it, I feel a bit panicky. It’s just so big. I can see myself at age 90, still getting up while the house is dark and quiet (which is very early indeed, around here) and typing away on this book. But I keep slogging away at it. So, though this is exactly something that I would do, I decided that I wouldn’t let myself start another book until my original NaNoWriMo book is finished. Even if it turns out to be three books.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t get in on some of the fun, and while perusing the NaNoWriMo site the other day, I came upon this article entitled “The Only Writing Advice You’ll Ever Need,” and it just sucked me in with that title, and I read it. Then I thought (and I quote) “Eureka! I’ll bet that some of my writer-friends would enjoy reading this!” so here ya go, Writer-Friends, and you’re welcome.
“It’s a strange question, really, like asking how to fall out of a tree, or walk across the street, or how to properly skin a cat (not that I’ve ever done that or endorse doing so, though I wonder who considered it first and, more importantly, why).
The answer, I’m afraid, is simpler than you might want it to be, and one I suspect you already know: You simply have to do it. You write by writing.”
You can read the rest of it over here.
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