Posted by: Eve-Marie | July 3, 2012

What NaNoWriMo Taught Me – Part 1

Novel writing is a lifetime sport.” – Chris Batty

1. You Have To Write Everyday:

You do.  I’m sorry.  I know.  Yes.  But, you do.

And, I too hated this advice, especially from those ‘How To Write’ books I used read.  And, for years I stressed about this – writing *everyday*?  Every?  Day?  But, I have a life.  I’m busy.

I know.  And I thought I was happier not writing everyday and just noodling about with a draft on weekends or whenever I had a spare moment.  But, in June I averaged 1,667 words a day.  And even though June is over, I still look to write everyday now.  I didn’t have that hunger before.

And, I don’t really believe either in writing free-form everyday, just scribbling out whatever comes into your head.  Contribute to a goal, see that you’re making progress towards it on a daily basis, or you’ll go nuts.

But, the good news is that you only have to write 1,667 words a day if you’re doing NaNo.  1,667 is the magic number.

2. You Don’t Have To Write Everyday:

Because once you write 1,667 words… you’re done !  How freeing! 🙂

When you’re just noodling around with a first draft here, jotting a short story there, it’s too easy for the work to become this nebulous, all-encompassing thing.  It swells to take up your day.  Everything that is not writing becomes a panic attack moment because if you’re cleaning, you’re not writing.  If you’re driving, you’re not writing.  And so on.

Write your piece, then stop.  You don’t have to write any more.

Get 1,667 words down, then go about your day.  It’s so freeing.  Read a book.  Go sex something.

3. 1st Draft = buying clay

Okay, someone I wish I could remember who made this excellent point: writers are not like other artists/crafters who can go to a shop and buy their raw materials.  Writers have to actually create their raw material, i.e. a first draft.  A shitty first draft.  Is there any other kind?

So, your writing is not totally crap.  It’s just a first draft.  It’s just putty.  You can work it into something cool later.

For now, it’s just clay.



  1. […] I know that when I thought I couldn’t finish – couldn’t possibly do it! – I realised that NaNo isn’t so much ‘writing a novel’, it’s actually ‘writing down words’.  Write the words first, create the novel later.  See Point #3 of the previous post. […]

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