Monday, November 01, 2010


It's NaNoWriMo again, and like last year, I'm not participating. As I've gotten more entrenched in this whole writing thing, though, my feelings toward November's writing challenge have changed somewhat. I do still see a large percentage of folks who use this month to "begin their writing career," thinking it'll be easy. They'll take a month, write a book, and then by the end of December, they'll have a contract for a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Less than a week in, however, they give up because, hey, writing's a lot harder than they thought it would be.

On the other hand, there are some folks out there who seem to be waiting to write their next novel just so that they CAN participate in NaNoWriMo. They're writers with a novel or two under their belt (most of them unpublished, but some of them agented), and the only reason they haven't written their novels until now is because November was just around the corner.

And now it's here. They can take their outlines, character drafts, setting details, and lofty dreams and start crafting their new book.

To those authors who think writing is easy, I want you to know that sometimes it is, but there are going to be times when you need to really put some work into your craft. Editing can be rough. Querying makes you want to start drinking like Wilde. If you start this, don't give up. And don't try to do it alone. Join a critique group, get your book edited by people who have been doing this for a while. And remember, when they tell you what could be done better, it's because they want to help you make your book great. It's not personal, it isn't an attack against YOU, it's a critique about your writing.

To those authors who are participating for fun, or because it's time to start another project, just remember how much work you put into the last book you wrote :) This may be easier than your last book, but it may be harder. Again, stick with it.

And everyone, have a blast! Maybe I'll join you next year.


  1. I can't do Nano either. I'm between projects, and technically I could do Nano, but my process doesn't work like that. Maybe next year if alllll the stars are aligned. But I won't put a single word down until I'm really ready, and it's not today!

    Thanks for your comments on my post. I don't think they were callous at all, just insightful.

  2. I didn't even know about Nano until about a month ago. I might do it next year just for fun and see how far I can get.

    I found your post encouraging!

  3. Lydia, I'm glad I didn't come across poorly :D

    Sara, so happy to hear that something I wrote is encouraging :)