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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWrimo: Get the Juices Flowing and Vanquish Your Procrastination Demon!

After going on three years of attempting to finish my second novel, I have decided to take the bold step of signing up for NaNoWrimo. What is NaNoWrimo? As the website's "about us" tab describes:

"It is a seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. The ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly."

I've had friends encourage me to join in the previous three years, but the thought of writing 50,000 words in a month seemed like a daunting task, and still does, since I couldn't get myself on a consistent momentum to come up with ideas for my prequel. Then I remembered that I was overlooking a very important step to the writing process, which is fundamental to getting any writing done. It's something I taught when I was a language arts teacher many moons ago.

All writing must begin by generating a set of ideas or details. They don't have to be coherent, perectly spelled, or grammatically correct. The key is to jot down whatever comes to mind in order to get those brain juices flowing. That is what prewriting and drafting is all about. Sometimes, I get so caught up waiting to come up with  that magical sentence; I want that muse to inspire me, or I get bogged down with writing everything just right, that I paralyze myself from moving forward.

So, perhaps this is going to get my brain in gear and push me to finish that novel I started three years ago. Time to write and worry about editing and proofing later! If you've been procrastinating for that very same reason, join the club, look me up and let's encourage each other. I'll see you at the finish line.

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