Nanowrimo is National Writing Novel Month. The premise is to write 50K in thirty days.
Unfortunately, for me, I’m on deadline so I’m not going into this month feeling bold and free and ready to fail. I’m going into it knowing if I don’t write 2K per day –I’m screwed.
Fortunately, for me, I’ll be surrounded by a thriving community of authors who are with me on this wild journey to complete a bulk of words in a short amount of time. I am not alone. I am with my tribe of creative artists, bravely venturing into the unknown, allowing showers and makeup and Netflix and normal dinners to fall to the wayside. We are stocked with snacks and dry shampoo and tissues to wipe the chocolate from our mouths and tears from our eyes.
Who knows what we will have created by the end of month? No matter if it’s a well written, plot driven book, or a mess of half scribbled chapters. It’s work. It’s words. It’s creation.
It belongs to us.
God knows, with the world falling apart around us, we need to claim something beautiful for ourselves, even if it’s in raw form and a bit ugly looking. It can be added to, edited, re-worked. It is a start and that is the foundation of everything.
So, pens and keyboards prepped, please find the below which is a revisited post on WHY you should do NANOWRIMO, even if you decide to jump in today with no prep. Actually, that’s the most fun. Doing something on impulse from the heart and passion. Not the brain.
Here’s why you need to do it.
Participating in this challenge when I was an unpublished author was key to helping me create a habit of being able to write on a daily basis. It taught me that no matter what happens around me, I made a commitment to my writing, and it was not going to come in second. Not in November.
Nanowrimo taught me to vomit words and deal with fixing that shit later. Words beget more words. Work begets more work. We have nothing to sell or make money on or market if we don’t have words on the page, words that build stories.
Nanowrimo taught me to take myself seriously. Writing needs to be an investment of time and dedication and care. You need to stand up and declare you are a writer, and will be writing. For the month of November, you go into survival mode. Cleaning, cooking, socializing with friends, watching movies with the kids, all of it goes to the back burner for thirty days. Make a deal with your spouse or boyfriend to step it up and help. Ask family members, or friends, or babysitters. It’s time to claim your dreams and goals and they are IMPORTANT. Don’t wait for anyone else to tell you that, guys. It has to come from you or no one is going to listen.
Nanowrimo stripped away writer’s block. Basically, I had no more time for it. If I struggled for too long on a page, or a chapter, I learned to blast through it or start a new scene. It helped me experiment and figure out what worked best for me if I got stuck. Before nanowrimo, I would have left the pages to linger for days, while I went to figure things out. When you need to write a book in a month, you have no such luxury. You need to figure it out NOW. Usually, when I skipped around and wrote different parts, my subconscious was sorting through the blocked issue and later that week, I figured out how to fix it and went back.
Nanowrimo taught me to trust myself. All you have is you, your book, and a keyboard. There’s no one else in the room, and you need to depend on yourself and your Muse to get you to the finish line. That is an act of pure trust and faith. When you see what you accomplished in those thirty days, you learn you can do things that are hard. And trust me, writing is HARD. This is good practice.
Instead of worrying or planning or overthinking, just grab some time and begin writing. Who cares if you don’t have a plot or an outline or a carefully written schedule? Maybe that terrified your Muse so much she went into hiding.
Trick her. Just sit down and begin writing and she will probably peek her head out and screech, “What are you doing? I’m not ready for this yet!” But you will just quietly ignore her, keep working, and eventually she will help you because she has no choice.
Use November to push the boundaries, join the community, declare your goal to the world – but then do it. Write.
Oh, and after you write all the words, circle back and check out all my amazing books for writers. Did you know Write Naked is on audio? Did you know I have various articles and books to help with all levels of writing? Plus a really cool video. You can see them all here: https://jenniferprobst.com/for-writers
May the words be with you, my peeps.