Posted by: Morgan Hubbard | November 15, 2010

Stop what you’re doing and write a novel. Right now!

Now, a plug for NaNoWriMo!

National Novel Writing Month is a spur for those of us whose inner editors are bullies. The idea is to write, write with abandon, and leave the editing for later, or for never. Words on the page! Forward motion! Type now, read later! 

The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days, spanning the month of November. You can share your work with other people, or not. You can try to sell your novel at the end of the period, or not. The only thing that matters for NaNoWriMo is the process.

Trying to write a 50,000 word novel in a month (I’ve made two ~failed~ attempts; my total word count is just shy of 28,000 words) has been rewarding for me professionally as well as personally. The historian Heather Cox Richardson gave me some good advice a few semesters ago. I’d complained of being hung up on a paper I was writing on the history of American science fiction. Every question I asked led to other questions; I couldn’t close the tap.

“You have a deadline,” she told me. “Write it to the best of your ability, then turn it in and get it out of your life.”

Solid counsel.

-morgan

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