I'm actually pretty bummed I won't be doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I want to encourage all of you who ever wanted to write a novel, to jump in and do it. Last year at this time, I was seriously taking my writing into a higher gear. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and David Farland's Writer's Death Camp. But the most important thing I did was recognize that, if I was going to be serious about my writing, I needed to start investing in myself and do it NOW.
Life has a way of throwing a million things at you. All of them important. But if you feel you have something you desperately want to do... something that your life feels empty without... then you have to find a way to make it fit in with everything else.
Dan Wells, bestselling author of the John Cleaver series, is famous for saying he knew he had to give up gaming if he wanted to be a successful author. Now, is Dan still a gamer? Sure! But gaming isn't his passion now. It's writing.
I'm a recovering World of Warcraft player. I spent 2+ hours everyday on the computer playing that game. Well... Let's be honest. It was more like 4+ a day. Two hours would have been on a busy day. This made me realize how many other things I could be doing (And Warcraft was starting to get boring anyway).
So, taking inspiration from Dan, I killed my gaming time and started focusing on my writing. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and the Death Camp. These little steps led to many other things including my AWESOME writing group, listening to a host of writing related podcasts every week, and attending workshops and conferences for writing. But most important, it brought me to where I am now. Finishing my first novel.
Am I still a gamer? DUH! But I play little games on Facebook. Nothing that takes too long to play. And when I finish my rough draft, I have Homefront and Skyrim waiting for a try before I rush off into the revision process. Gaming is my reward system. It has become my chocolate ice cream after a days hard work.
So, back to NaNoWriMo. If you have ever thought you wanted to write a book, start now. You have the drive to do anything you set your mind to. You know where to fit in the time. One author interviewed, said she wrote in her laundry room because she knew her family avoided work. Another said she would tell her family she was running to the supermarket, but would spend and hour in her car, at the park, writing. She finished almost her entire novel in the car.
It doesn't matter if you make your goal. Sure it's awesome if you do, but how much closer will you be than if you do nothing now? Sign up for NaNoWriMo and get going! And if what makes your motor purr isn't writing, well, get going on what does! Sign up for a class. Check out a book from the library on something you've always wanted to learn. Just do it so that one year from today, you can say you've done something you've always wanted to! And when it comes right down to it, you're worth investing your time in.
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