Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Writing to Get the Words Down

This year, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. Several of the novels written in this challenge have gone on to be published, and one has become a New York Times bestseller. Of course, I have to ask myself, what the heck am I doing?

Writing on demand, just to get the words down, requires one very key element: the ability to turn off one's inner critic. The way I have written most of my life has involved my inner critic -- second-guessing every word; with the computer era came the ability to automatically delete and revise. In other words, my first drafts don't come easy. And this time hasn't been any better than before.

I have found a couple of processes to help me, such as Write or Die by Dr. Wicked writing program. Writing in scenes and constantly reminding myself that I need not do this in order (that can come later, naturally). Unfortunately, life loves to offer opportunities for procrastination (oh, geez, I really do need to clean the kitchen floor!).

If you are so inclined, NaNo (as we who participate call it) also raises money for youth and adult writing programs, so feel free to donate a dollar or five to the program. In the meantime, I'll let you know how I'm doing.