Jumping off the Deep End

A year ago this month I started this blog.  To celebrate my one year anniversary of consistent writing, I have decided to join National Novel Writing Month.  The gist is put words on paper.  Just write.  Just do it.  If you have had a conversation with me lately, you will know this venture is timely as I have been dragging my feet in terms of taking my writing to the next level.

I don’t expect much to come of my participation in NaNoWriMo except a commitment to put 1600 words on paper EVERY DAY from now through November 30.  If I can achieve this discipline, I will feel like this project was worth while.

I am going to be posting some of these writings on a new blog. I probably will not post any of the writings for this month here at My Living Canvas but not to worry, I will not neglect my normal blogging styles here on my home blog.  If you want to keep up with what I am doing for the writing project, be sure to visit the new blog page and book mark it, RSS it, or email subscribe it.  All options are available.

Before we begin, please read over the bits of advise NaNoWriMo gives its new members.  This is what you can expect to see from me on the writing blog for the next 30 days.

Before you head off to begin training those typing fingers, we wanted to offer a few bits of advice. You’ll find many great tips in the forums, and we’ll be sending pep talks directly to your inbox during November. But for now, here’s a quick overview of the three-and-a-half things we wish we had known for our first NaNoWriMo.

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 so. 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. 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 nitpicky 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.

Wish me luck!

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