It’s November 1st. At some point on this day–unless you’re a NaNo Rebel–we will all be looking at a blank page. Some of us started at midnight, some won’t start until later tonight. But there’s nothing more exciting to be than starting a new piece of art and creativity.
A fresh story. New characters. New love.
But let’s be honest. When you think about it, 50,000 words is pretty intimidating and scary. I know that I started this month nervous, wondering just what on Earth possessed me to set a goal for twice what I normally write in a month?
The thing I have to remember–and that I want all of you to remember–is that it’s okay to be freaked out by it. Ignore those authors talking about how they NaNo every month and that this is no big deal. They are not you. And it is a Big Deal.
Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head hard core in November, because so many are trying something new and exciting. It’s awesome that those authors can write 50,000 words every month. I used to be like that. But they aren’t me, and they aren’t you.
People are different.
And it’s unfair to yourself to judge your accomplishments and challenges based on someone else’s experience. What is hard for you may be easy for someone else, and you shouldn’t judge yourself based on what’s easy for other people.
I had to teach myself how to plot without writing a draft first. It was hard and I messed up a lot, and I tossed aside a lot of stories. What comes naturally to others–plotting before writing–didn’t come naturally to me. But I worked at it. I figured out how to do it. This November, I’m writing a book that I plotted before I ever wrote a word of it.
That’s crazy to me.
It’s okay to be freaked out.
There’s no one way to write a novel. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever written two books in exactly the same way. Some people are linear, some people not so much. Some people need every last detail planned before they can even type “Chapter One” in their file. Some people just start.
Write what inspires you. Write what makes you happy. Maybe you’re not very good with descriptions, but you’re killer with a plot. Start with what you love, what you’re comfortable with, and the rest will follow from there.
Give up on perfection.
Whether it’s your first book or your tenth, NaNo is about accomplishing a goal, about being motivated to getting words on the page. Don’t let that inner editor censor what you want to write. Just get the words. Let the magic flow.
And if you need some encouragement, find me on Twitter. I’ll be your cheerleader this November.