Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Did I Just Do...?

I've never considered myself to be a writer. I don't have many ideas to write a great novel. Most of the poems I've written rhyme because it's easier. I once wanted to write a children's book about potty training, but never got around to it and have since lost the rough draft.

I took one creative writing class once in college. I don't know if it was laziness or if it was the fact that everyone else was amazing, but it made me realize that writing was not something I wanted to do and was not something I had a passion for.

But I've been feeling lately that I need a little more. Now that the wedding planning is over I feel like I have a lot of spare time and I want to fill it with more than just trash TV.

Then I came across this. It seemed interesting and something I might want to attempt. I mean, maybe there is something more inside of me that I have yet to discover because I haven't tried.

So, I signed up today here. I'm now in the process of creating my profile and learning about what this entails. I'm already beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed, but I'm hoping these tips they provided will help:

1) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do it! But it’s also fine to just wing it. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.

2) Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nit picky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.

3) Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month. Seriously. Email them now about your awesome new book. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.

3.5) There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel.
And we’re talking the good kind of yodeling here.

So, now I'm off to start brain storming an idea for a novel. We're not allowed to start writing until November 1st though so the idea I currently have may change.. I'm thinking of writing a book of letters from a mother (me) to her daughter (Isabel) from before she was born to the present. It will cover multiple areas of our lives together. We'll see how it works out..


  1. I LOVE your idea of letters to your daughter! I'm definitely struggling with my premise, I'm afraid whatever I pick will start to bore me too early on.

    I'm glad I'm not alone in my NaNoWriMo insanity!