I crashed and burned in April.
Trying to juggle writing a story (that I didn’t know where to take) and editing my book for May publication became too much. I gave up writing, dove into editing, and didn’t resurface until the beginning of May. By then, I’d had a pretty important writing revelation.
The reason so many people “fail” NaNoWriMo is that they jump in with lofty goals and no established writing habit—and assume that devoting a month to their story will somehow be enough to make it happen. It won’t.
And that’s the danger of NaNoWriMo: it lulls you into thinking you can neatly shove your writing aspirations into three months every year.
Writing is a “do it on a regular basis until it becomes a habit” activity. I won’t say write every day—your schedule may not allow it or, like me, you choose to take time off to relax. But without practice (and that’s what you do when you write regularly), you won’t get better.
Or finish your book. The one you really, really want to write, even if you don’t know what the book is, just that you want to write.
The more you write, the easier it is to write. (Or, let’s be honest, edit. Drag your feet long enough on editing and it will eat you alive.) You have to learn to call up your muse and imagination and motivation, not wait til they strike. Because they won’t strike without prodding.
To write—and to keep writing—you must write on a regular basis
As much as I love NaNoWriMo (and will continue to use it to coax people into writing), it’s not enough. Which is why I’m opening up The Writing Sidekick to everyone in my community. (If you’re on my email list, you’re in my community. If you’re not on my list, go here to fix that.)
Because if you must write on a regular basis to keep writing, then you need the support and accountability to do it. And while The Writing Sidekick will still host and ramp up the writing activities during NaNoWriMo, it’s something I want to have open and available all the time.
April, July, and November aren’t the only months you write. April, July, and November aren’t the only months you need support.
Join us. We’ll share our writing (or editing!) goals for the week, every week, and get help with our frustrations. Here’s a secret: we learn faster with each other. You can go at it alone, of course, but why would you? Writing with others is far more fun.