Guess what? It’s November! And this doesn’t just mean tasty food, fun cookies, and amazing fellowship.
…drum roll please…
…NaNoWriMo is here!!!!!
National Novel Writing Month! Here’s the link if you want to read up on this writing challenge or enter it: NaNoWriMo
This is actually my very first year doing NaNoWriMo, and I’m simultaneously excited and nervous about it, given the fact that it is a 50,000 word challenge, and I’ve never really written anything over a couple thousand words before I’ve lost interest or simply run out of things to say.
But I’m going to do this. I think being around others who like to write as much as I do will help keep me in the “Zone”, so to speak. Also, every week I will write a short blog update about how I’m doing in this challenge, to keep myself accountable, I suppose. Currently, I have written 4,527 words. It’s not exactly a lousy start, but I have the infernal habit of starting out fast and dying out in the last couple rounds (just ask anyone who’s ever seen me run a mile around a track…). Anyway, hopefully with support from my NaNoWriMo buddies – and from all of you – I should be able to keep this pace up.
So, I’ve heard it said by many of my writing teachers (and I honestly believe it with every fiber of my being) that the key to writing is just sitting and bleeding.
Thank you, Hemingway, for that vivid picture, right? Well, it’s true. Your most profound words come when you are feeling the most profound emotions: Fear, Trust, Love, Hate. So, sit and bleed. Think of your scene. Step into it. Let it engulf you. Feel it. Embrace it. Write it. That’s how you bleed at the typewriter.
Here’s another great tip for this challenge. Don’t edit. I mean it. If you’re anything like me, you will hate those two words with every part of your soul. I know I do. I love editing, and I love rethinking my story and changing it. If I’m being honest with you, I have probably changed the beginning of any one of my stories over ten times. I haven’t gotten past the first couple pages. Why? Because I let myself edit. So, here’s the deal. When you sit to bleed, don’t clean up the mess right there and then. Let the typos slip. Let the wrong adverb sit there for a bit. Let the comma enjoy being in the wrong place for a couple pages. And all the while try to tell yourself:
Does that help? No? I know…
So, if you are doing NaNoWriMo this month, please comment below! Feel free to share how long you’ve been doing it, your buddy name (so I can buddy you), and any tips you might have about how to win (aka write 50,000 words in 30 days)! My NaNoWriMo name is Sveta H. (really creative, I know), so feel free to buddy me, and I promise to buddy you right back!
So, with that, let the Writing Games begin, and may the ideas be ever in your head!