As I’m writing this post, in my time zone, there are 12 hours left until November starts. Otherwise known as, less than half a day before National Novel Writing Month officially begins.
I thought I would give you some last-minute bites of inspiration to chew on before you start writing this year. There’s a lot of excitement, and probably a little nervousness, buzzing around in our heads today. Here’s what I want you to remember.
Think about your ‘meh’ days
Thinking ahead, I already know weekends are actually going to be the hardest writing days I’m going to have all month. For you, Mondays and Wednesdays might be torture. If you know ahead of time which days of the week you are going to struggle, you can plan ahead, both mentally and scheduling-wise, to compensate for possibly not getting as much writing done on those days as you might like to. I will probably get more writing done on Thursdays and Fridays than usual to make up for rough writing weekends. Plan. Expect. You might even find you don’t have as much as a hard time as you thought you might.
You’re about to do a lot of bad writing – that doesn’t make you a bad writer
A lot of people get hung up on the fear that they’re writing badly, which sometimes stops them from writing completely. NaNoWriMo isn’t meant to help you write a publish-worthy novel in 30 days. That’s impossible. As the month goes on, you’re probably going to end up writing some stuff that just isn’t good. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a good writer. While some might argue that writing quickly for the sake of “getting it done” is a waste of time, I strongly disagree with the idea that you can only ever write good content. My last point will justify that further.
Whether you make it to 50,000 or not, the attempt is all that matters
Those aren’t just nice fluffy words to pick you up before you’ve fallen down. I don’t give out fluff, not even for free. NaNoWriMo exists to get you writing your novel. It’s an excuse to get writing done. It’s a reason to try starting or continuing or finishing that book you just can’t seem to put together. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you make it to the winner’s circle. But you should at least try. Trying is a sign of strength. Successful people try. Successful people also fail. Unsuccessful people don’t fail, but they also never try – and end up accomplishing nothing in the process. Just start writing. It’s OK if 50,000 words is too much for you. But you’ll never know until you write 100, or 1,000, or 10,000.
Well, I guess all I have left to say is … good luck. I’m still going on with our normal posting schedule, NaNo-related every Monday until December. Feel free to leave suggestions for any topics you want me to cover this month. Happy writing!
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.