National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a chance to finish a book with help and support. I’m talking about a rough draft. So many writers are hung up on getting those first three chapters of their novel to be perfect and they never progress.
Participating in NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to break free. Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. This is what most authors crank out. The beauty of this is you can go back and edit, then polish that baby up. BUT you can’t progress if you don’t step away from the cage you’ve put yourself in. A first draft isn’t supposed to be perfect. The draft is getting down the bare bones of your story. Fleshing it out, going back to layer in other elements comes after the draft is written.
NaNoWriMo is an excellent way to experiment writing in a new genre. The forums at the NaNo site are a treasure. Digging around there can spark ideas. You can make new writing friends while learning information on various topics as well.
Don’t let fear hold you back. I’ve heard writers say, “what if I write something that my Mom/Dad/Grandma/Aunt won’t like?” It doesn’t matter. Write what’s in your heart. If you’re trying to write under the constraints of family and friends it will show in your writing. The passion and the joy won’t shine through. Write what you love.
For years and years, I had no writing support. Even the professional organization I was a member of was fake about the encouragement offered. I was in an abusive marriage and continued to write romance, children’s and nonfiction for most of my writing career. I’m proof you CAN do it.
Not everyone who participates in National Novel Writing Month finishes. The upside to this is you now have more words than if you did nothing at all. To me that makes it a win. There are worksheets to help with characterization and plot, forums with oodles of topics, writing programs such as Scrivener, which I’m learning. Once I figure out all the stuff Scrivener can do its going to be a love relationship. The link is at the bottom of the post. The Scrivener people also have a program called Scapple, a mind mapping program. You won’t spend a fortune on either of the programs and I appreciate it!
If you haven’t tried National Novel Writing Month, go ahead. The month of November just got crazier! If you write 1,667 words a day or 556 words three times day you can reach the 50,000 word goal. There’s a Young Writer’s Program so you can involve your kids or grandkids as you’re writing. There are write-ins all over the world. Find your region and go.
Don’t give in to fear. Fear of not writing perfect, fear of what others might think, fear of success and the myriad of other fears that creep in. Make your dreams come true and finish that novel!
Wishing you all the best in your writing journey!