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: