Troubled writers could mean many things. Unable to connect points between plots, horrible at dialogue, unmotivated to propel a character into a necessary scene, lazy at the concept of writing, sidetracked with life, researching too much, pessimistic and self critical over character development, etc. The list is huge and only gets bigger. I had all these issues and then some but my most persistent problem was simply not putting the time needed to write…anything. It’s a struggle because sometimes you want the right frame of mind and in your room may not help…at the hipster coffee shop may not help and your most awesomest soundtrack every playing in the background also may not help. So here’s my advice to all that. Nano….f*****n….wrimo.
National Novel Writing Month. a commitment of 50,000 in the entire month of November. Mapped out it is 1,660 words a day which can translate to 2-2 1/2/ hours a night. It’s hellish, it’s grueling and it’ll guarantee destroy whatever life you have for that month…including thanksgiving but it will accomplish a goal that writers struggle constantly, the ability to write.
Some writers may persist that forcing words out could mean disaster for the characters, setting and plot. I however disagree. The worst writing can be salvaged and the best writing never starts off as the best writing. 50,000 words in 30 days is more than just “see the story unfold” it’s about practice and getting into the method. I’ve seen plenty of Nano members push themselves to a breaking point and give up, and to those individuals I still commend them because they have more words on file than they did before they started and that more than anything is success.
Believe it or not your characters have their own voice and they will speak through your fingers regardless of how stumped you are. You may not always like or agree with what they say but they need you to speak their mind and get their stress on with the plot. Everything still matters, research, metaphors, descriptions and all that jazz. But the core of the practice is getting words out so that you as a writer can multi-task and function as a writer who writes. If you can’t write on your own of your own free will and own free time I suggest giving NaNo a try. You may hate yourself for trying but you’ll love yourself for finishing. It’s never a contest. Some people can write faster than others, but remember, everyone is doing it with you. It’s an unspoken camaraderie and you’re not alone.
If you already know and have done NaNo before, awesome!! NaNo got my book written, and I don’t think it would have come out any other way.
No more words.