Writing reckessly – NaNoWriMo 2015

“Every morning I tell myself: Write recklessly today.

You can play it safe tomorrow.” – Sue Monk Kidd

NANOWRIMO CRESTAs I join tens of thousands of other writers to tackle the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write 50,000 words in November, Kidd’s comment is particularly appropriate.

Writing 50,000 words in a month – 1,666 words every single day – is no easy task. Life gets in the way. The muse takes a vacation. I convince myself I deserve a break. However you slice it, 50,000 words in one month is tough. But Kidd has offered me words to live by.

To write 50,000 words or more, I promise to write recklessly:

  • I won’t look back. If I look back, I’ll get mired in re-writing and re-thinking. I will look ahead and just keep writing.
  • I will lock my internal critic in the closet. I won’t listen to any naysayers. Even if what I write is dreck (and I expect much of it will be), I will keep writing.
  • I will let the muse take me where she will. I’ve lived with these characters for a good long while; they know what they want to do. I will get out of their way and keep writing.
  • I will not let the outline I’ve prepared for the month get in my way. It’s a starting point to keep writing, not the designation.
  • I won’t let road trips or remodeling projects or family visits or holiday dinners – all of which are scheduled in November – deter me from the goal. I’ll write no matter what.
  • Finally, I will follow Sue Monk Kidd’s example. Every day in November, I will write recklessly.

NaNoWriMo was the genesis of my novel Go Away Home. I’m hoping for the same inspiration, encouragement, and push for my current novel.

Wish me luck. I will see you again in December.

Shameless Self Promotion Note: While I’m writing, you may want to be reading. A reminder that the paperback version of Go Away Home is 40% off – best price this year – until November 20. Possible gift idea?

Comments

  1. Great advice and outlook you have Carol. Best of luck in winning NaNoWriMo this year with another excellent novel!

  2. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I second the advice to keep writing forward and not looking back. If you think of something else to add, just make a note and keep on writing.

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      Thanks, Cherie. I know my manuscript will be peppered with yyy’s and yellow highlights. The ‘yyys’ signal research needed. The yellow highlights mark cliches that no one could miss, but by highlighting them I give myself permission to move on instead of spending a half hour figuring out the exact right turn of phrase. Keep writing – Plenty of time for the perfect word later.

  3. Chuck Robertson says:

    I agree. If you spend too much time thinking about what you just wrote, the self doubts will get to you.

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      Exactly, Chuck. There’s a point in the process where thinking about each word is the right thing to do. For me, at least, that can’t happen during the first draft.

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