I've always been a reader. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on my Grandma's lap being read to. When I was older and could read on my own, I couldn't get enough. I would beg my parents to take me to the library, and they were usually more than happy to cater to my thirst for words, unless I hadn't done my schoolwork for the day or my room wasn't clean. Yeah, you got spanked? I got my library privileges taken away.
|I'm the one in the dress and dirty ballet slippers|
Starting around when I was in high school, I started to love writing. I had dreams of one day writing a book, but instead wrote on secret blogs and in notebooks. One of my best friends, Cristen, encouraged my writing and we have spent many hours over the 10 years of our friendship just sitting in coffee shops, bookstores, or in our homes just writing. Since high school, my writing process has changed a lot, mostly for the better. The NaNo writing process is my favorite because I work best under pressure. (I mean hello, I always write my blog posts at the very last minute and I was always that student printing off essays five minutes before they were due.)
So, let's talk about WHY I love the NaNo process.
1. Quantity over quality.
The goal of NaNo is not to write the next great American novel in one sitting, it's to write 50,000 words. Anywhere you look for writing tips you will find things that tell you the first draft of any novel is usually total garbage. The first draft is the bare bones, and the editing process is where you fill out your novel, giving it life and making it beautiful. Remember, it's easier to delete things than to add thing, so it's encouraged to write about things you think may be totally ridiculous. I did this and ended up writing around a thousand words about a baked potato. The baked potato may end up getting deleted when I go through and edit my book, but for now, it's there and it's upping my word count, and that's the goal.
2. Write without thinking.
What, does this not make sense to you? It's one of my favorite things. Many times I will close my eyes and just type for a while, imagining scenes and writing things, and most of the time I write things that I never would have if I had been thinking about it. My favorite way to do this is through sprints, where you focus only on writing for a set amount of time (30 minutes is good). I have to close out of any social media websites and turn my phone over so I can't see the screen or I'll get distracted.
3. There's an endpoint... and a prize!
Knowing that I only have 30 days to do this and then it's all over gives me a burst of energy that I wouldn't have if I had as much time as I wanted to write. Of course, for a procrastinator like me it's easy for me to say, I still have 17 days left so I can up my word count tomorrow if Keith and I decide to drive all over LA today, and that's not great. So there is some responsibility I have to have, I guess. And at the end of the month, if you win NaNo, you get a t-shirt! I mean, you have to buy the t-shirt, but you're not allowed to buy it unless you've uploaded your 50K words onto the NaNo website, and I think that's pretty cool.
4. The community.
Coincidentally, the community is also one of my favorite things about blogging. On the NaNo website there are forums where you can go and ask any question and people will answer you. Really, any questions. Some of my favorite questions are, "Does anyone live where there are bears?" "What does a hangover feel like?" and "Goats! And spinning goat hair into yarn".
If I'm not on the NaNo forums, I'm texting my writing friends. Usually it's stuff like, "I think I might have my main character get a tattoo," "MY WRITING SUCKS NOBODY WILL EVER WANT TO READ IT," "Words are hard," or something like, "Wine helps me write." It's really encouraging to talk to people who are going through things like you are, and it's even MORE encouraging when one of those friends has actually finished her manuscript (LINDSAY) and you have proof that it actually can be done.
So, what are you writing? What's your favorite writing music? What do you do to help you get through writer's block? Link up your post below!!
And if you want to know what I'm writing, here you go. About two months after [figure out good female name] and [figure out good male name] get married, they go on a hike and the husband suffers a fatal fall from the top of the mountain. The wife is devastated, but guess what? She actually pushed him off the top of the mountain for a lot of reasons that I'm not telling you because if I do you won't buy my book.