NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Chuck Wendig

I thought this post from Chuck Wendig was too good not to share:

Imagine being allowed to do something you’re not supposed to do.

Imagine you’re given the keys to a mud-bogging Bronco, or a dune buggy, or a Lamborghini. And then, you’re pointed toward a field. A soccer field outside a high school, or maybe just a wide open grassland. Nobody there. No kids playing. No animals frolicking. In fact, right now, nobody is here to see you at all.

You have total freedom to rev the engine, slam the pedal to the floor, and gun it through that field. You can do donuts, spinning the car wildly about, flinging up mud, leaving tracks that look like the calligraphy of an old, mad god.

You can slop mud on the car. You can get out and dance in the grass.

You can do whatever you want.

This is not something we’re particularly used to, as adults. My toddler gets it. He isn’t fenced in by the boundaries of adulthood—which, okay, yes, that means he doesn’t necessarily know not to shove a ham sandwich into a whirring fan (instant ham salad!) or not to climb the tallest thing and leap off it like a puma.

But it also means he doesn’t know why he can’t just pick up a pen and start drawing. It means he has no problem grabbing a blob of Play-Doh and creating whatever his fumbling little hands can manage. It means that he’ll grab a Transformers toy and half-transform it into some lumbering robot-car monstrosity—and when an adult might say, “No, no, it’s like this or it’s like that; it’s a robot or it’s a car,” he’s like, “Uh, yeah, no. Go back to your tax forms and your HGTV, stupid adult, I’ve just created a Frankencarbot and you can go hide your head in the sand-swept banality of grown-up life, sucker.”

His entire creative life is the “Everything Is Awesome” song from The LEGO Movie. Because he doesn’t know what he can or can’t do. He doesn’t know about art or form or criticism or any of that. He can do whatever he wants. (Ham sandwiches and fan blades aside.)

And you can do whatever you want, too.

The blank page is yours. Cast aside worries over art and criticism. Imagine a land without rules. Imagine that nobody has ever told you that you cannot or should not do this thing. Those people were wrong. Forget those voices. Because, for real?

It’s an empty field and you’ve got the keys to a freaking Ferrari.

It’s a white tablecloth and you’ve got ketchup, mustard, and relish.

It’s a blank page and you’ve got all the letters and words you need.

Rev the engine and take the ride. Paint with all the colors the condiments at your table allow. Create whatever robot-human monstrosities your mind cares to conjure. Crack open your chest and plop your heart onto the page.

Right now: just write. Donuts in an empty field.

Leave your mark.

How inspiring! My inner child shall be unleashed

Di 🙂

My failure and success in NaNoWriMo so far

For the first time, I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo.  For anyone who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is National Novel Writing Month and it has taken place every November since 1999.  The aim is to write 50,000 words in a month and then the editing can follow at your leisure in December or whenever.  I have flirted with the idea of writing a novel before but I haven’t made it past the planning stage.  Some of my previous planning is still saved and I may revisit for a future novel or novels but in the meantime, I thought I would take up the challenge of just writing and getting my first novel underway.

Three weeks into the challenge and I have written just short of 10,000 words.  It works out at an average of 500 words a day.  While I could see this as a failure because I am 9 days and 40,000 words away from the target, I see it as a success.

Let me explain why.

I enjoy writing but I find that life often gets in the way.  I know real writers are supposed to find their way around obstacles but sometimes it just isn’t possible.  I don’t want to make excuses but for a variety of reasons my writing was sporadic.  To have written a few hundred words most days (I have written for 19 days out of 21) is a success.  It is a success because I have been writing regularly.  I have been writing regularly and enjoying it.  And, because I am writing most days, I know where I am going with the story.  I won’t have to remind myself at a later date what I had previously written.  My plot and characters will stay with me on a daily basis until the story is told in full.

I had not previously achieved this without the goal of NaNoWriMo.

With 9 days to go, I don’t expect to have 50,000 words written but what I do expect is to have a fully formed skeleton; the skeleton being the plot outline.  I can then work on putting flesh on the bones.

I’m happy with my progress on my practice novel.  I’m glad I took up the challenge and I would do it again.

I would love to hear about other people’s experiences in NaNoWriMo.

Maybe you’re just like me, a newbie to novel-writing.  Maybe you find it easy to knock out 50,000 words.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Di 🙂

What comes easier to you…………

…………dialogue or description?  I am currently participating in NaNoWriMo and I have found that so far, the bulk of my work has been made up by dialogue.  Until now, I didn’t realise that I felt so comfortable writing it.  The aim is, by the end of November I will have written around 50,000 words towards a novel.  I know it will be very rough.  In fact, I am itching to edit but know that I can’t.  The method of just writing and not editing has been good for me.  I am working through the story quicker.  I know I will have to add flesh to the bones but I have enjoyed not picking it apart because I now realise that it was debilitating in the past.  By the end of this month, I could have written my first novel.  What an exciting prospect!

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

If not, what are your thoughts on writing dialogue? Do you find it easier than descriptive writing?

What do you think about writing without editing?

I’d love to hear from you.

Diane 🙂

Extra long hiatus

I had an intended break from writing/blogging mid-October when I was away on holiday but it seems to have extended.  Life is getting in the way again, I really must stop letting it 🙂

Anyway, I’m on the right track again because I am writing daily.  I have taken up the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a novel in a month. I’m enjoying having to sneak writing in whenever I can.

Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

Di 🙂