One of the most common questions I receive when I tell people that I just completed writing is not, “how did you come up with the story?” or “what is the story about?” No – the most common question I hear is “how did you find the time to write?”
I was fortunate enough to be given a number of weeks paid sabbatical from my day job, which I hope I was able to put to good use. As this was only a very limited period of time, I had to ensure that I maximized my daily word output every single day. I used a program called WriteWay Professional which gave me a daily quota goal and had a very nice percent complete graphic that served as my glaring task master. I also very much appreciated how this program helped me organize my notes and develop character sheets. I had tried writing more freestyle before with less successful results. I am sure there are other similar programs out there (a program called Scrivener is another option), but this one worked well for me.
I have since learned that the month of November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. If I understand the rules correctly, you can sign up at http://nanowrimo.org/ and pledge to write. Those that participate are tasked with writing 50K words in 30 days and are given access to a network of supporting groups and individuals. I did not learn of this program until November was already half over and so am not participating this year, and I’ve heard a lot of mixed feedback on the benefits of the program, but at least its format creates a nice fixed set of rules and deadlines that anyone can use.
Hopefully though I will already be finalizing my next novel which I have already started to plan out.
Not writing is not an option for me. I’ve been given a taste for it, and the stories keep coming. I have to get them out – even if only a few people see them.
So the only advice I can give others who are on the fence about jumping into the writing game is similar to preparing for any race. Set your self a goal, pace yourself, and just concentrate on putting one foot (or word) in front of the other until you reach the finish line.
- Treat It Like a Business (traciloudin.com)
- So…Are You Doing NaNoWriMo? (eclecticvoices.org)
- NaNoWriMo, Otherwise Known as “Another Thing I’m Putting Off” (2under1.wordpress.com)
- Scrivener (kmalexander.me)