Real Writers Write – a plan for us NaNoWriMo holdouts

Inspired by the RMFW conference, my critique partners and I are participating in a writing challenge this fall. In an effort to develop the daily writing habit, we declare our intentions, much as the NaNoWriMo participants do. We challenge ourselves with so many words a week or so many pages a week, with a goal to write daily.

I’m sure you’ve heard the comments by NYTBSA’s like Nora Roberts, Stephen King, et al, who, when asked about their daily routine, stress that real writers write. They write each and every day. That consistency is what helps them release over three and more novels a year.

Slacker me, I crank out one when I have the perfect combination of inspiration and time, zero when I don’t.

A cartoon circulated about ten years ago depicted two rooms full of writers, all typing away on their keyboards. Under the cartoon on the top, it read “Unpublished writers.” Under the identical cartoon below, it read, “Published Authors.” The message was simple: as a striving-to-be-published author, one needs to work hard to learn the craft. While  studying writing components such as plotting and characterization are necessary, learning only occurs when the principles are applied, i.e., during the writing.

And as a published author, your fans and your publisher will want you to produce at least one book a year, preferably more, so one should write, and write frequently.

If we write to be rich and famous, we become dependent on external validation to make that happen, and without it, it’s likely we’ll lack adequate inspiration to write every day.

If we write to please ourselves, the writing is intensely personal and there’s less pressure. I write because it's a joy, and it's extremely entertaining. I also enjoy sharing my work, and it delights me when others enjoy my words, so I write to publish.

Must we write every day? I propose that the rule need not be so absolute. There are days of accidents and heartaches and legal difficulties and the flu. Let’s not allow that little voice inside to deride us and sap our confidence if we miss a day here or there. I haven’t set a daily rate for each week within this challenge, but I’ve set a goal that requires, if not daily writing, most days writing.

Because I’m a confirmed plotter and hopeless editor-in-progress, NaNoWriMo is a fantastic program that I’ll likely never try. Adapted to my needs, however, it can serve as inspiration to get me there.

So far, it’s working well, and I’ve made my goal for four weeks straight. I’m beginning to feel the rhythm of daily writing, and it makes the story I’m writing much more exciting. I would love making sufficient progress to eventually release a book every six months.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo or a modified version with your critique buds? What are your goals for November?

NaNoWriMo
https://pixabay.com/

-

Janet Lane
Janet recently released Crimson Secret, the fourth book in the international award-winning, #1 Amazon Bestselling historical romance series. Her novels are set in fifteenth century England during the so-called “Gypsy Honeymoon” decades. She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, completing their Creative Writing program.

In addition to the awards mentioned above, Tabor’s Trinket, is a #1 Amazon Bestselling novel. Emerald Silk, part two in the Coin Forest series, was reviewed by the Historical Novels Review, which noted that it “goes beyond simple romantic suspense by including serious issues such as racism, homophobia, and clerical greed. However, the love story and the quest for the stolen chalice take center stage throughout.” #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Lara Adrian called it “..an enchanting medieval romance filled with passion, intrigue and vividly drawn characters that leap off the page. I loved this novel!” Crimson Secret is the first novel in the series to be released as both a Kindle and as a paperback.

Janet was a featured author in RMFW Press’s Tales from Mistwillow anthology, and co-chaired the editorial board for that press’s anthology, Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.

Janet lives with her husband in Colorado, surrounded by a forest of conifers, herds of deer, and an occasional black bear. She welcomes your comments and feedback via her blog at http://janetlane.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @janetlaneauthor.

3 thoughts on “Real Writers Write – a plan for us NaNoWriMo holdouts

  1. I do plan to at least start NaNoWriMo again this year. I’ve found it a great way to kick start a new project. I only have five more days to decide which idea I want to explore, so it’s time to focus.

  2. I am in! I have written several books as a result of NaNoWriMo, so I am getting myself all prepared to start a new project next Sunday. Like Pat, I have to focus on which one it will be.

  3. Hi, Pat, and Rebecca, and thanks for sharing yet another strength in the NaNoWriMo process: helping to focus on a new novel. Let the ideas flow!

Leave a Reply