Now, the first subject I want to broach is our lord and master, NaNoWriMo. For those of you who have joined me since the beginning, you will probably be hitting the halfway point with me today 25,000 words. For those that have done so, congratulations, I have managed to write a bit ahead of that myself in case I need a buffer for a non-writing day. However, I know life can throw up all kinds of problems and some of us might have fallen behind somewhat. For those writers, I say don’t panic and don’t get disheartened. If you can only manage to hit 30,000 by the end of the month, heck if you can only hit 1000, then those are words worth writing. Finishing NaNoWriMo is hard, but it’s also not the be all and end all of writing. If you came into this month and wrote only a few times, that’s still writing you might not have done otherwise, and you might find that the next time you attempt it you write a few more than that. Never ever let your word-count stop you from writing, and definitely don’t let fear of failure stop you from trying at all. My advice would be to set yourself a personal word-count if you don’t think you can hit 50,000 and see if you can hit that instead. This is a challenge, not a competition, and the most important part of the challenge is that you write something, even just a little something. Remember that.
Now, we have had a few events this year, they happen the same time every year and I wanted to mention them. Some writers, who write in genres that focus at least in part on our world, will likely have an opportunity to write about events such as the two-minutes silence that was observed only recently. However, I know for a lot of us, treading close to events like these in their writing, one that are of great importance to the people attending, can feel a bit off. I can understand this, you don’t want to upset people involved in the events, or you don’t want to make light of the events, but I would encourage you to write about it. Chances are if you are feeling nervous about writing about the event, then you already hold a certain amount of respect for proceedings, and I think this will show in your writing. These events often mark incredible or terrible events in history, sadly it’s often a combination of the two, and these events should be remembered, and if you want to help them be remembered in your work then don’t be afraid.
Now, for my final point I will return to NaNoWriMo and speak about a problem I suspect at least a few writers, myself included, might be having right about now. Sometimes when I’m writing quickly I will reread something and decided I don’t like it at all, and can be tempted to rewrite or scrap the whole thing. Please, don’t do that to yourself. NaNo is the place to get words on paper, but it’s more than that too, it’s a place to let ideas go off like fireworks in your mind. Say that you accidentally went off on a tangent in the middle of a fight scene, you might find that this scene is too slow for what should be a rapid paced paragraph filled with short sharp sentences. Keep it anyway, because you might have written something in that tangent that you really like, and at the end of November, you can start finding it a home. Even if you get to the end of this challenge and only like 10% of what you’ve written then I consider that time well spent. Keep absolutely everything you have written because there will almost certainly be gems among the bits you don’t like as much.
That’s it for this week, my faithful readers, I hope I have brought you some good ideas and inspiration for your writing. I will be back next Tuesday for a few more words of encouragement because on that fateful day we will be nearing the finish line of this epic quest of ours.
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