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My Thoughts on NANOWRIMO

Image courtesy of NaNoWriMo

First of all, how many people know about NaNoWriMo?

Most non-authors haven't heard of it, although some have and are intrigued with the idea. So I'm here to spell out what it is and my thoughts on it.

Ever thought of writing a novel but are too intimidated to start? Then National Novel Writing Month might be for you. On November 1st, social media blows up with people beginning a new project. Maybe it's their first or maybe it's their tenth. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. This is not to say that you'll have a finished book in one month... far from it.

The idea is to have a lump of clay to mold by the time December rolls around. Most authors struggle to stay motivated and committed because writing when your muse has disappeared is very difficult. NaNoWriMo provides a community of people pushing each other and showing up to support others in the same space. The collective energy helps push you along to success that you might struggle to find on your own.

I can tell you that my writing community has been the single biggest asset to my growth as an author. I learn from them and we help each other through drafting and plotting and celebrating and yes, sharing lots of woes along the way.

So NaNoWriMo is awesome, right? Am I going to do it? Nope.

I don't function like the average writer. I don't struggle to write every day, and I don't wait for my muse to show up. I flip open my laptop every morning and invite her to join me. Sometimes she does and sometimes she's nowhere to be found. But I still write because I'm completely addicted to it. It is my greatest joy. I understand myself enough to know that if pressed into what feels to me like a competitive environment (even if I'm competing with myself), I will shut off and refuse to do it.

I also write fast already. Too fast, as you know if you've read this blog. My challenge is to slow down and be very purposeful with my words and plots. I can't do that if I'm forcing myself to write 1,667 words per day.

So, I want you to honor your process, even if it's different than the rest of your community. The hive is buzzing today with the excitement of new manuscripts and amazing ideas but I'll be off on the side, cheering you on from my solo spot in my writing nook.


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