by Ami Weaver
One thing I’ve learned over the past few months as my books have come out is how many people are writers. Many of them don’t know where, or how, to start. Writing is one of those things that requires the most basic of tools, but yet taking the time to fine-tune those tools, finding the time to start and oh, yeah, that blasted little voice inside your head snickering that’s the best you’ve got? can be enough for people to give up before they really try.
So my advice? Try NaNoWriMo.
This, of course, is November Novel Writing Month. Participants (WriMos) sign up to write a 50,000-word book by November 30th. The beauty of this approach is there is ZERO time to dwell and fuss and fight with the voices that tell you you can’t do it, that the book isn’t good enough, whatever. You learn quickly to just get the words down. This is not the time to edit–you just write. You can fix it later. But, as Nora Roberts has said, you can’t fix a blank page.
Two of the books I’ve had out this year (my April Romance and my November Special Edition) are NaNo books. I wrote fifty thousand words (that’s about 1700 words per day), and shut my internal editor down. That right there was the most valuable part of the whole experience–learning that I’m in control of my words, not some muse who may or may not (ever) show up, and not some little voice who says it all stinks.
There are communities and forums all across the internet dedicated to NaNo. Some are right on the NaNo site, and some communities offer write-ins and other activities dedicated to NaNo. My area does, though I’ve never gone to them, but I do visit the boards and see how others are doing. It’s inspiring to be part of a huge group of other writers who are all heading for the same goal.
Also? It’s okay to fall short of the 50K. Really, it is. The point is to get into the groove of writing regularly without second guessing what you’re writing. Remember: You can always fix it later.
Here’s the website: http://nanowrimo.org/ Give it a look and get out your pens and paper and get ready to get writing!
If you’re a writer, have you ever participated in NaNo? If you’re not a writer, have you ever taken the plunge to learn do something you weren’t sure you could do?