On writing

Your novel doesn’t write itself, you have to work at it

Write a novel in a month. 50,000 words in 30 days. Start on 1 November, finish on the 30th.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is back. It started in 1999, when 29 people took up the challenge. Last year 59,000 people started, and nearly 10,000 finished their 50,000 words.

It’s a wonderful idea.

I’m tempted. Sorely tempted.

Herein lies the trap.

There are many temptations along the road to completing a novel.

There are always other things to do. Some of them are unavoidable. Work deadlines, family commitments, unexpected crises. Others are things we choose to do—like NaNoWriMo.

Last night Sherylyn and I chatted over a bottle of wine and some home-made pizza. We really enjoyed it. By the time we have finished talking it was too late to do any writing.

Another 1,000 words we didn’t write.

Novels don’t write themselves. They take time and commitment, and a big chunk out of your life. Your family and friends don’t understand why you bother. Deadlines help keep you on track, as does mixing with like-minded individuals. That’s where things like NaNoWriMo are so good, as they provide both.

I would love to take part, but we’re already working on Barrain, and Shared Memories is waiting in the background for another polish. The rules of NaNoWriMo specifically state that you must work on a new story (and no writing together, either).

If I was between novels I would probably do it. Right now, though, insofar as my novel writing is concerned, I’d be foolish to take it on.

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