November’s always been a bit of a crazy month to host NaNoWriMo. For a lot of people, there are exams happening, end of year slump has well and truly set in, and quite a few family and religious holidays are looming. This year, some of you got to add hurricanes and election fever and cancer to your mental load.
And you’re writing anyway. All this month, masses of people are finding the time to squeeze out words, to get down a hundred, a thousand, and (in some impressive cases) tens of thousands of words a day. These people are plotting out stories, or winging it, or getting into word wars or adopting plot bunnies, and cheering each other on.
You guys, you’re pretty much awesome.
There will be people who are whining about how you’re “not real writers” (whatever the definition of real is here…I’ve yet to work it out) or are shaking their fingers at you and saying you’re wasting time, that any book written in thirty days is shit, warning you not to query your novel on the 1st of December (okay, they’re right about that one, just…don’t. Also the 2nd. 3rd is fine. )
But you know what – none of that matters. “Real writers” are people who write. “Real writers” are people who learn by doing instead of talking. “Real writers” find out what method works best for them by sitting down at a blank screen and working at it until things start feeling right. They learn by fixing what they’ve done when they’re done.
“Real writers” finish their first draft, and discover that ALL FIRST DRAFTS ARE SHIT (if you’re the exception who proves the rule, shut up because I hate you) and they get stuck into making that book not terrible anymore.
Anyone can do that.
And writing your novel in thirty days along with a huge crowd of like-minded friends has got to be if nothing else, the most fun way to get that first draft down.
So, basically, I am waving my pom poms and cheering you all on.