Susanne Dunlap

Just Write

In The writing life, Writing Craft on November 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I don’t have much time today. On top of everything else going on my life, I decided a few days late to sign up for NaNoWriMo again. I’ve only finished once, the first year I did it. But I’m a huge fan, and I really think it’s a great way to break through the anxiety about writing that some people have.

For me, it’s also a way to give myself permission to write something completely different. It doesn’t have to work. It doesn’t have to even be completely finished. But the obligation to write, to produce countable words, is just the artificial stimulus I sometimes need to push myself in a new direction, or overcome some imagined obstacle.

So what am I doing this year? When I signed up two days ago I put TBD as my novel’s subject, and the same thing as the title. I chose Young Adult as the category, just because I had to pick a category.

Then, I created a new document, and I just started to type. I had no idea what would come out, or why. The point was to put the words down with as little forethought as possible.

As of today, I’ve written a little over 2,000 words on what appears to be a YA historical fantasy, set in Arthurian England. But who knows where it’s going to go?

So if you’re feeling out of sorts, stuck, just want to give yourself a jolt in a new direction, sign up for NaNoWriMo. You don’t have to finish. But it’s so much fun, you won’t want to be left out.

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