Very few writers have a perfectly open schedule. With full-time jobs, commuting, families, friends, parties, pets, great movies, annoying neighbors, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, making dinner, cleaning the house (did I mention great movies?), finding time to write can feel like trying to find oxygen in outer space.
When you do find time to write for NaNoWriMo, you’re likely going to be frustrated you can’t hit your daily word goals. Fortunately, there’s a sliver of hope: Weekends.
Is it weird I need to even mention this? NaNoWriMo isn’t supposed to make you a crazed killer ala. The Shining. If you’re writing, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” then you’ve got a problem.
Don’t be Jack Torrance. Have fun!
Writing is work but its also a ton of fun. It’s easy to let the work aspect get in the way.
But, frankly, writing isn’t supposed to be a chore. If you aren’t having fun while you’re writing, then maybe you’re in a bad mood or, honestly, hate to say it, but writing isn’t for you.
Most writers start because it’s a wicked good time. It feels good to create worlds, rules, stories, and characters and like reading it teleports you to another place. You get to feel and tap into emotions lying dormant. You get to be all these different people. Most of all, you have control.
Writing is the ultimate choose your own adventure. If that isn’t fun, I don’t know what is. So, if you’re stressing, stop it.
Allow yourself to hop in and enjoy the ride. Once you get loosey-goosey and you’re having fun, you’ll be so addicted to writing you won’t want to stop.
In my past article How I Write 3,000 Words Per Hour, I talk about the idea of keeping the door closed when you write and keeping it open when you edit. Of course, the phrase is not entirely literal. When you’re writing your first draft you shouldn’t bother yourself with critiquing and editing every last sentence. Too many writers think the first draft should be perfect, and if it’s anything less, they have to start all over. Other writers trudge through a bog of their own making, continuously re-writing their first paragraph. They get so drained and exhausted. It’s no wonder why they give up.
Believe it or not many, many writers do this (and have done this) throughout the ages. J.R.R. Tolkien plagued his first drafts with overt perfectionism and would throw dozens of copies away because he wasn’t satisfied. In the meantime, his best pal, C.S. Lewis, wrote book after book with ease.
You’re a writer. If you want to finish your projects like Professor Lewis, then it’s time you started acting like one. Here are five tips for writing faster and silencing your inner editor:
At one point in time you’ve read a novel or watched a movie and finished it saying, “Man, that was too preachy.” Some say on the nose, cheesy, spoon-fed, or in your face, but what they really mean is the writer didn’t use subtext to get across a message but rather used exposition in the dialogue or narration.
We’ll call this writer Captain Obvious. You don’t want to be Captain Obvious.
Here are a few reasons why: