Thank You Anne Lamott For My New Writing Anthem

I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year.  That’s National Novel Writing Month in Novemeber: 50,000 words in 30 days.  In a couple weeks it will all begin and I will try my best to write at least 1,667 words each day.

I like to write.  And yet I find it hard to make myself write.  My self-critic flames up, my self-doubt nags.  Words once I loved cease to seem good enough.  Most times no words come at all and I let the feelings of being uninspired dissuade me from my goal.  It seems like that’s a writer’s struggle.

But I’m in great company.  Author Anne Lamott tweeted this a few days ago:

The writing doesn’t have to be glamarous or even 100% self assured.  It just has to be done.  As I go, breaking past the Caution tape and the mental barriers, I might find the real story hidden somewhere in the ideas I have buried in my brain.  Later I can polish the words until they resemble a finished work, but until then, it’s work.

And yet it’s not work either.  Writing is a gift and a pleasure.  It’s a privilege this year to have the time to take a writing challenge.  It’s a privilege in general to be able to do what I love, even if I’m sure of what the outcome will be.  It’s difficult, but part of the payoff is knowing I went through all the trouble to create something.

So even if I doubt or feel bad or confused, I can still push past all that and do what I was created to do: to be creative myself.

Anne Lamott’s words will be my anthem for NaNoWriMo and every opportunity I have to write.  Because word by word I get to write a story, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo?  Any writing advice to share that helps you get ideas down on paper/computer?  And here are some other great tips I ran across in the past week:

NaNoWriMo for the Uninitiated

Write What You Know: The Importance of Research in Storytelling


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