Tuesday, November 5, 2019
So it's National November Writing Month and you want to give it a try.
Firstly, the website (https://www.nanowrimo.org/) should be your first resource.
When you're done looking there, come back and read me.
Ready? Okay, so it's National writing month. It's a challenge to write more. Whether you are a writer crafting novels or someone who just wants to dabble, it's all good. ALL ARE WELCOME!
That being said, as a writer, my post is going to be focused on novel writing.
I'm seeing my fellow writers posting their successes and failures on Twitter and the Facebook pages. Like, posts are ranging from "I'm in the fetal position, paralyzed by anxiety." and other posts that are like, "I just wrote 5,000+ words of my novel today!"
So what gives?
How is it that some people find that their words flow so freely whereas others are stuck in the first paragraph still?
Well, my theory is that it boils down to a few key factors.
1. Organization is key.
Writers typically fall into plotters or "Pansters", sometimes you get people in-between, but generally speaking, Pansters don't like time constraints. They don't like being funneled into the confines that dictate success.
Plotters, on the other hand, have a distinct advantage in a time-constraint type of situation because while Pansters were dreaming about their characters and scenes, Plotters were creating detailed outlines that gave them a sense of how much work.
I am normally a Panster. I write when I write and that is whatever I write. However, this time I decided to challenge my typical process. My NaNoWriMo wasn't about getting a novel on a page, it was about tinkering with my process to see if I couldn't produce a cleaner rough draft with tighter tension and a higher starting wordcount.
I've been thrilled with the results.
HOWEVER...this brings me to a second point.
2. Time dedicated to writing.
Some people have less than an hour to hurry up and get some words on a page (cause that sounds like it will end well) and other people have hours dedicated to writing daily.
People who work full time with kids and a gym membership staring their Pre-Thanksgiving bodies down may not have the same type of writing space that a fulltime writer with kids who go to school.
Everyone has a different situation and different stressors. Does that make you any more/less of a writer? If you would tell someone "no," then hold yourself to your own damn standards.
Writers hear how reading is one of the biggest tools in their writing toolbox. What did you read? Are you reading your genre? To be honest, I never do while I write, I just read what strikes my fancy.
Last month, it was a bunch of books about writing. From Donald J. Mass to the Emotional Thesaurus and Painless Grammar. That's right...I was reading books about writing.
I just figured before I decided to funnel myself into high expectations, I should read about the sorts of things that would improve my writing. Yeah, the first draft is never pretty, but I am going to ignore that point.
It's still day 5, so I'll bring that index card of advice out for tomorrow's chapter where my outline is...kinda blank. Not sure what happened to chapter six's outline. Oh well, tomorrow me's problems!
Seriously, don't compare yourself to others, just rock it out.