It’s All Hallow’s Eve, or as we in ChiWriMo like to call it,
The Day Before NaNo!
I don’t know about you, but I’m not actually ready.
But here’s what I’ve learned from NaNo’s past:
Don’t panic. All words count during NaNo.
What does this mean in my case? I’m a pantser, which means I write “by the seat of my pants.” As much as I’d like to be more of a planner, my personal process doesn’t seem to work that way. Yeah, I can plan. But when the rubber meets the road, I’m a pantser.
NaNo will start whether I’m ready or not. Which brings me to:
You don’t have to “be ready.” You just have “to write.”
Write is a verb. As a matter of fact, it’s a nice, crunchy, active verb – and if you’ve read how-to articles related to writing, you’ve probably heard exhortations to use active verbs in your writing.
Very well. I shall to write.
Or something like that.
But see, this leads me to my next point:
Rough drafts are Rough Drafts: equal parts “rough” and “draft.”
What happens when you order a draft beer? (No, really, stay with me here.) The barkeep pulls the lever, after putting a glass below the spigot of course, and poof. Beer shows up.
Writing is kind of like that. You put the paper or word processor (the glass) in front of the fingers (the spigot) and pull the lever. It ain’t gotta be pretty; it’s just gotta be words.
Pretty soon, a rough draft becomes a draft of a novel. But don’t rush it.
It’s just the start of NaNo. All you gotta do, wrimo, is write 1,667 words tomorrow. You don’t even gotta write ‘em all in the same sitting. You could write 500 here, 250 there, a thousand after that… Which, for you math-inclined folks, is actually 1,750.
See how that happens?
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Okay, I didn’t say that, a really smart guy named Lao Tzu did. But it’s true, nevertheless. And even the longest novel begins with the first word. And the English language, assuming that’s what you’re writing your novel with, has lots and lots of words. And a great many of them can be used to begin sentences.
To paraphrase the famous Nike ad, “Just do it,” just start writing.
You can DO this, wrimo.