Friday, November 16, 2012


Everyday this month I will be blogging about the process of writing in honor of
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Nothing that is worth doing is easy.

To develop an original story takes creativity- a good story requires genius.  In developing real, believable characters you take  it a step further- you become a creator.  The characters need to be believable to everyone else, so the way they move, speak, eat, love and fear is your responsibility to present as truth to your readers.   All of this springs from a world that exists only in your head.

Novel writing is the marathon of writing and NaNoWriMo encourages fledgling authors to pump one out in 30 days with a dare: a schedule.

Every day for two hours a day, writers all over the world will develop plot, characters and sequence and write it down.  It’s a lot like committing to going to the gym to work out every day and never missing, despite any emergencies or interruptions.  Everything’s fine until about day nine.  That  day nine is the day that starts murming to you “Are you serious?  Every day?  Don’t you need just one day off?”  And day ten says it, too.  Then day eleven is more convincing.  By day thirteen, the thing you’ve committed to has to take a break because something is well and truly more important than your goal.

By day fifteen, after missing a day here and a day there , many writers give up and say they have had a good start and they’ll get back to the thing “When life calms down.”  


NaNoWriMo is the challenge that dares us to have a demanding schedule that includes writing everyday.  It is so easy to give up – and after the “give up” it is easy to abandon. 

Oh, NaNoWriMo?... Yeah, I tried that once.  I don’t like to work like that,”  is a sad thing to hear for anyone.

Here are a few motivational tips to stay on track to your calendar or schedule or get back on track after you’ve wandered:

·         Be CONVINCED that your GOAL is not just a good idea.  “Do you have the skill, audacity, brains, drive, the vavavoom and the zazazoo to write a book, find someone to publish it and then convince people to buy it?” Arielle Ekstut, author of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published asks.  If you do, do it.  If you don’t, the goal of writing a novel in one month will not be enough to make you motivated day after day.

·         Create a space – a “WORK-ZONE”.  Before you make a schedule, create a work-friendly environment that includes an imaginary sign that says “Don’t bother me while I’m here unless it’s an emergency.”  Last night my husband was on the phone with a friend who invited us to dinner next week.  I could hear him out on the porch chatting and reconnecting, but then I heard, “Hold on, let me ask Janet…” I looked up and the first thing he said was, “I’m sorry to interrupt you,” and I smiled.  He knows my look when I’m writing – the determined, driven face that is focused.  He can hear music coming from my headphones and he can see I’m on a roll.  He also reads my blog… and he knows my goal for November.   A note to parents of young kids: This is a challenging one.  Give yourself a break and enjoy your family.  I have no toddlers around, so it’s easy to establish my zone – but also communicate that there will be times this month that will be (more than normal)

·         Just do it! Think that quote is Nike’s?  Charles Dickens said “I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”  Concentrate.  Focus.  Get it down.

·         Don’t get stuck in re-write land.  An awkward phrase to a writer is like dirty hands to an obsessive-compulsive – but some things are best left until you can come back later.  After the first coat is painted, there’ll be a time to go back and correct the typos, streamline the conversations and correct the inconsistencies to correct, but it will be done in sweet December.  Imagine if we left anything we wrote in its original state!    

·         Read and Walk… This morning I read a blog by Nathan Bransford  (writer, editor, agent and now social media manager at CNET) entitled "10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Potential Readers" .  I later read 2 Thessalonians – and was riveted by the “more than words” of chapter one.  It reminded me that perseverance is a character quality deeply valuable in the Christian faith.  Even the dictionary defines it as a "thological term".   It renewed my hope in “living the Gospel” and trusting God.  It encouraged me to walk out my faith….

One month. 
One challenge. 
One product at the end. 
You can do it.
Just persevere. 

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