Friday, November 7, 2008


It's officially NaNoWriMo. What is NaNoWriMo? It's National Novel Writing Month.
That's right. It's time to write a novel. Or 50,000 words, whichever comes first. In one month. Starting November 1st. Which was actually six days ago, but it's not too late to join! Because if you do write 50,000 words, you win! What do you win, exactly? Well, the satisfaction of completing a task on deadline.

Normally I'm all about deadlines. Actually, I don't think I do anything without a deadline. That is the joy of working in a field that's driven by deadlines. I can't not write a magazine article because I didn't feel like it and just send a blank page to the printer because SOMEONE will notice the blank page in the magazine. Really. People notice blank pages. One blank page might be fun, though. Because you could doodle, make a list, draw a picture, or write your own story and pretend you're published in your favourite magazine, like US Weekly or The Enquirer. Personally, I'm all about Real Simple. But more than one blank page, well, that would be too much. Anyway...

I need deadlines, which is why novel writing can be tricky, because you often don't have a deadline. When I first started writing my first book, I didn't even have an agent, so there was absolutely no one waiting for my novel, which was still in my head at that point. Now, it's easier, because I can give things to my agent to read, though whenever I ask her for a deadline, she tells me to give it to her when it's done. Hmm. So I have to set my own deadlines. Which is why NaNoWriMo is so great. To make it work though, it's best to try to write every single day. Because, like eating breakfast or flossing your teeth, you really need 30 days to make something a habit, so if you write, no matter how little, every day, it will become easier and easier every day.

Of course, there are always excuses. On November 1st, I had to finish reading my bookclub book (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society, which was SO, SO good. It's set post-WWI in Guernsey, which is in the Channel Islands, and is about a bookclub and romance and a pig and potato peels, which they used to make a pie).

Then, the next day I had to go to a wedding. And then the day after taht I had to make a potato pie because it was bookclub night and it's a potluck and everyone makes something mentioned or inspired by the book of the month.

See how easy it is to make excuses for not writing? I could go on, such as: once Monday hit I had to go back to work (to write words on pages that go to the printer so they're not blank) and watched The Hills (can you believe Heidi got fired?) and then go to the mall (to buy myself a present for doing NaNoWriMo). See how good I am at making excuses?

The thing is, excuses don't get a novel written in 30 days. Writing does. So even though you can do all those other things, you also have to write, write, write. But it's not that hard, really. Because YOU get to pick the topic and YOU get to write whatever words you want and then they're YOURS.

Don't you want to do NaNoWriMo too? You should! Then we can be in it together! Peer pressure rocks!

Okay. I am done with my excuse for the day (Update Blog). Back to writing!

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