Monday, October 25, 2010


I signed up as a participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) today. 

Beginning November 1st, I will begin writing my novel Bon Secour with the goal of completing 50,000 words before November 30th.  (1,667 words per day / about 7 pages per day)

NaNoWriMo will break my procrastination deadlock.

A recent post to the blog Fiction After 50 really spoke to me.

Sadly, wanting to write fiction and actually producing a novel are two completely different things. One of the most important HUSFS is to manage your writing time. You don’t need a Day Planner — or a PDA — but you do have to set aside quality time for writing fiction. And actually use it to write a novel.

This is not a plea to avoid procrastination. As one of the world’s most dedicated players of Spider Solitaire, I can say with authority that straightforward procrastination is not the most serious time waster for late-blooming novelists. “Worthwhile activities” will squander even more potential writing time.

One of the worst of these is “learning” when you should be writing.

All writers face the tricky challenge of balancing writing against activities intended to develop one’s craft. It’s vital that new novelists master the essentials of writing publishable fiction — but it’s all too easy to push away from the computer and read one more book about writing novels, take one more on-line seminar, attend one more fiction workshop at Community College, travel to one more writers’ conference, join one more fiction-related discussion group, Internet “loop,” or social networking site.

Although first-time novelists of any age can fall victim to the trap of studying the art of fiction to the exclusion of actually writing a novel, late-bloomers are especially vulnerable because we appreciate the value of learning from others — and seek out appropriate books, courses, workshops, and writing communities.

The key word here is “balance.” Make certain your schedule has adequate time set aside for actual writing and sufficient rewriting....  Bottom line: if you want to be a novelist, you must finish a book-length manuscript. So use your writing time … to write.

I have been paralyzed by the fear that my actual writing would not be good enough. 
I had my story outlined, and character studies completed since early June.  
I pitched my story to thriller readers and got a good response. 
But I couldn't make the leap to writing.  I wanted to spend more time learning how to write - studying the art of how to write.
Well, now I'm committed.  50,000 words in November or bust.  Going NaNoWriMo!!!

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