Friday, November 1, 2013

Why would you do NaNoWriMo, Virg?

NaNoWriMo, for those of you who don't know, is National Novel Writing Month and it takes place every November. It's a competition with yourself, a challenge to write a fifty thousand word book in a month. There's a website, which I support and adore, which you can check out here...

But, hey, I'm an author. I write about this much every month anyway. I have to. It's my job. Sometimes, to be honest, I write MORE.

When I started NaNoWriMo in 2009, I wasn't as secure. (And I'm not bragging now, I'm making a point, I promise.)

Back when I first started NaNoWriMo, I looked up a bunch of my favorite authors and I watched them through the month. Could they really write that many words in just thirty days? Were they hitting the daily goal? What were they saying on facebook--or were they suddenly invisible on social networks because of hitting their word count goals?

All of this went into my repository of information of HOW THEY DID IT.

Y'see, I was looking for the magical keys to the writing castle. There was something special they were doing that I wasn't--some fantastic thing that made them AUTHORS and me MORTAL. If I could figure out what that THING was, perhaps I could do it, too.

What I learned?

None of them did the same thing. Some hit the word count, on the nose, each and every day. Some wrote in big gushes, like a dam with a relief valve being set loose every so often, and just barely scraped across the finish line. Some vanished from all internet presence, some stayed just as vocal as they'd been before they started the race to the novel finish line.


So, um, what the hell???

How could they ALL be successful writers, all be interesting in their fields and prolific and yet not be doing the same thing???

The thing was, that WAS the key. Every writer is different, every process is unique, every voice shines in it's own light. Once I found my voice, I could no more write in someone else's than I can breathe under water. So, all my early author was useless, right?


It showed me I wasn't alone, that what I was doing was fine--right, even. That chances were good that if they could do it in their own way, dancing their unique dances and singing their individual tunes...SO COULD I.

So, why do I NaNoWriMo every November?

Because you might be watching. Because I want you to see how I do it. Because it's okay to do it my way or Kim Harrison's way or Heather Long's way or Carrie Ann Ryan's way or...

Write your books this month. Or don't. Remember, though, the only wrong way to write a book is not to do it at all.

If you want to buddy up, come find me...

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