Prepare to Fail Nanowrimo

Welcome to day 2. So How’d it go yesterday? Good? Tough?

This year an estimated 130,000 people will pick up the pen, flock to their keyboards, and Type as if their lives depend upon it. And about 20,800 of them will finish. That’s 16. 16% of all writers that attempt Nanowrimo don’t make it to the 50,000 word finish line.

So that’s it, give up. Abandon all hope ye’ who enter and so forth.

I want you to really take this in. If you thought writing 50,000 words was a daunting task, good you get it. You’re half way there to defeat already. If you think you can do it, if you’re cock sure, if your blood is pumping.

You’re screwed.

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
-William Faulkner

Take a minute. Take a breath. Take a look around you.

Everything there is real, and what you’re planning on doing is fake. So fake! You’re just going to pull things out of the air and make an entire world populated with people and places and things, time? You’re going to make time!?

Are you overwhelmed yet? Good.

Here’s the deal. You can’t win this going into it thinking “I’m going to kick ass, take names and come out of here with an amazing novel.”

It’s not going to happen that way.

What you’re planning on doing is cram. You’re going to sit down and for 30 days you’re going to have the worlds largest brain storming session ever. The end goal is a book. But I want you to go in to this thinking of it more as a brain storming session.

Let yourself admit defeat, let yourself acknowledge “This is going to be utter crap”

Because it is. It’s going to have major flaws, you’re going to forget something important can’t happen, because something else happened… you’re going to change a characters name halway through the manuscript, you’re going to just completely forget to ever explain why little Timmy is afraid of asparagus.

Shits gonna go down, and if you go in to this thinking you can do no wrong, when you do and you figure it out (usually 10,000 words later) you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot and throw away weeks of work to either give up or start a new.

I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.
-Truman Capote

The point of Nanowrimo isn’t to fluster you in to never writing again.

The point is to motivate you to creating a first draft. Novels aren’t sold on a first draft, they’re re-written and edited several times over. So what you’re doing is giving yourself as a blanket as possible to work with after November.

If you think you’re done with this project when December rolls around, you’re wrong.

If you have any dream whatsoever of seeing your name on the shelf at Borders or Barnes & Nobles, then you’re job is just starting when Dec 1st hits.

You will reread and rewrite this manuscript alot. Maybe 5 times, maybe 20.

So When you sit down tomorrow and start writing again, let yourself know:

“This is gonna suck, and that’s ok. I’m going to make it amazing in time.”

If you acknolwedge it’s going to be bad right now, you’ll avoid getting stuck in your head with why things aren’t working – which will help you avoid writers block!

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.
-James Michener


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One Response to “Prepare to Fail Nanowrimo”

  1. C.J. Harley Says:

    Amen! You have given some great advice for me. I know that this novel is going to be the roughest rough draft I have ever written and I am okay with that. I am not going to accept defeat. Onward!

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