NaNoWriMo: Get Writing

This series will cover the stages of National Novel Writing Month and offer support and advice. This essay deals with getting writing.

Image Credit: 
Epytome / Used With Permission

Follows: Get Ready

Okay, so you’ve finished your first week, or maybe you feel like you’ve barely started at all. Well, I’m going to keep this brief since, well, you know, you ought to be writing…

If you’ve stuck to your writing goal, well done!

If you haven’t, that’s okay!

Writing isn’t always going to be easy, but right now it is important to remember that it isn’t always going to be hard either.

You might be tempted to try to write the best work you’ve ever written, and that’s a hard competition to have with yourself during such a short spate of time. This isn’t the time to use your best language, heck; I don’t even care if it’s your best spelling. Just get something written.

Thread out the skeletal system of your plot, the minor details and the epic descriptions can come in a later draft. Don’t fret about plot holes, and definitely don’t care if someone else sounds like they’re writing the next bestseller!

Also, don’t do what I do, which is feel like there’s no point because someone got 50K on their first day. This isn’t a race between you and some stranger, this is a race between you and the 30th of November. And it isn’t a race for writing a great book, just 50,000 words. Not great words, just… words.

That being said, now is a good time to go through all the preparation you did or didn’t do. For me, these become like love notes between yourself and your novel, things that remind me of why I wanted to write this story in the first place.

It may be about now-ish that I recommend talking to other writers, either online or at a writers’ group. Make sure not to accidentally surround yourself with those who snub their nose up at people who partake in NaNo, because they’re just going to make you feel small and stupid for something they can’t quite understand.

I mentioned this in an earlier essay; the issue these people have is with those who write a novel in a month and then self-publish the result with no after-thought or editing, or even proof-reading. You are not this person. NaNoWriMo is not designed for these people.

You are a person who has a story and you are taking part in a month-long writing marathon to get the bulk of it out. It is stressful and it is fun. This week is full of little unexpected hurdles, but they are all manageable. There are a network of others who are also taking part, some are veterans and others are newbies—just like you. We’ve all been here before, whether for NaNo or not.

So sit back, and let the words take you to the world inside your mind.

And, most importantly, have fun!


Next: Get Finished

Sometimes she writes. Sometimes she doesn’t. Either way, she’s not doing what she’s supposed to be doing.

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