College Fans have March Madness, fans of the written word have National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. For me, it’s that time of the year to take an idea germ and grow it into a draft. I have done NaNo since 2008 with Talisin2012, who introduced me to this crazy, lovely concept. In the middle of the busiest term in the Library Tech program, I began a novel and haven’t looked back since. Putting things down for a little then picking them up again proves another story. Much like keeping up with this blog.
I have noticed the niggly voice of the inner critic remains either silent or a whispering. When it whispers, I ignore it and keep going. Another thing I noticed came courtesy of Mary Karr, writer of the seminal memoir The Liars Club, from a Tweet she posted last week:
I admit to getting hung up on frou-frou sentences, especially with an education so steeped in literature nobody really talked about the story. It took me a long time to undo not feeling this or that enough, not knowing my craft, to remember the craft comes in the finetuning and the first draft involves telling. The damn. Story. In other words, build the house.
It also helps to follow a number of writers sharing their struggles, people whose stories I enjoy talking about finding the time to write, getting blocked, meeting deadlines. I will also never forget Christ Rutkowski from my Off The Wall writer’s group sharing a passage from Fifty Shades of Grey, his message reminding us if we think our stuff looks like crap, look what got published! (Oh my dear and fluffy lord to borrow a phrase from Serenity.)
The next step and I take an internal deep breath writing this next part, involves sharing my stuff. Time to use my Wattpad account and share my draft. For those not familiar with Wattpad, it’s a site allowing people to post their novels in serialized form. Some users have amassed millions of followers waiting for their next chapter, parlaying it into a book deal. Erm, let’s start with sharing first before even THINKING about that.
For now, we write, write, WRIIIIITE!