Mere hours stand between us and the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. Whether you’re about to attempt your first novel or your fifty first, it’s going to be a wild ride of fun and productivity. As soon as the clock ticks over to November 1st, it’s time to start writing like the Flash on 20 Red Bulls.
There are a lot of ways to write, from the slow tweaking of the difficult work email to the herky jerky stop and go of writing that research heavy non-fiction piece. But there’s nothing that thrills me like a quick and dirty first draft, the kind you need to race through so fast ideas flow from brain to paper like magic with no filter in between. And the tight deadline of NaNoWriMo is just begging for just such a dash.
Writing 50,000 words in 30 days leaves time for nothing but pure forward motion. Maybe yours is the kind of story you’ve got to get down as fast as you can because the ideas are just spilling out of you. Or maybe it’s the determined forward march of a story you’ve been meaning to write someday and have finally decided that someday means now. Or it’s the first dance with a mysterious new partner, all excitement and rush on minute and trips and crushed toes the next.
You are about to write a whole lot of words, my friend and you’re about to learn what your favorite writers already know. That quantity begets quality when it comes to writing. So turn off those red underline squiggles, chain up your inner editor and just let the words fly!
It sounds scary but it’s actually a wonderful thing. The looming deadline, the focus on the word count goal, the camaraderie and pomp and silliness of the challenge itself, it all serves as a beautiful distraction from your doubts, fears and all the other mental roadblocks that stand between you and your story. And if those distractions are still eating at you when the calendar flips and we begin writing tomorrow, take a deep breath and write even more. I promise, you’ll discover you are capable of amazing things when you outrun the voices that tell you no and sprint headlong into YES.