Have I mentioned that I love Twitter? I can ask any question and get an answer right away, usually multiple answers. Today, I had nothing planned to post about, so I opened the question up to everyone. The answers were varied and many. ^__^ I chose this question for today's post.
"What's the most surprising thing you've learned about yourself through writing?"
One important thing I've learned is this: I CAN finish a book, start to finish, in under a year. Let me explain that. The first book I ever truly, one hundred percent completed, took me five years to write. Five. Years. Of course, I was working then, and wrote when inspiration struck or when I had the time. It always amazed me when I heard of authors finishing a book in a year. I just couldn't fathom it. Sometimes it worried me. Even if I did get a book published, how could I ever make writing a career if it took me so long to finish a book?
Then came something called NaNo WriMo.
For those of you who don't know, NaNo WriMo, or just Nano as it's called by nearly everyone, stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a month long challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, rain or shine, come heck or high water. 50,000 words is reasonably half a book and, broken down, adds up to 1,667 words a day, seven days a week.
I wasn't sure if I could do it. 50,000 words in a month? My last book had taken me five years.
But, I started. And you know what? Those 1,667 words a day REALLY add up. Not to say it wasn't hard, or that some days I really wanted to do something else, anything else, than trudge up another hundred or so words. But I made myself write everyday, seven days a week, for a month. And at the end of the month, I had written 50,000 words. Another month of this, and I had finished the novel. In two months. Two months, compared to five years. It was a huge revelation for me, as well as a much needed wake up call. I had finished a whole book in 60 days. All I had to do, strangely enough, was WRITE.
So, for all you hopeful writers out there. The only way to write a book is to actually WRITE A BOOK. Inspiration is great and all, but at some point you're going to have to sit down and put words on paper or the computer screen. Make yourself do it. Keep writing everyday. If you get discouraged, don't stop. Just remember, every word is another step closer to the end. And then one day you'll look up, and you'll have a finished book.
Oh, and if anyone tells you that Nano writing will never produce a sell-able book, that its just writers churning out crap, don't get discouraged. For me, Nano was important because it made me realize I could write a book in a few months, that I didn't need years and years to finish a novel. And if that isn't inspiring, I'll leave you with one last bit of information. That novel I wrote for NaNo WriMo? The one I finished in under two months?
That novel was The Iron King.