Pep Talk - 2009 - Week 1


Second off: Why, hello there, January. Uh, wasn't expecting to see you so soon. Christmas was so short I figured we could cram another week in there or something.

Third off: Welcome to JanNo, the lot of you. Some of you are old hat at this and some are trying it for the first time. You may be feeling anxious, panicked, eager, anticipating, or ready to hurl. (I'm leaning toward the latter, though that could just be lunch...the fruit WAS a little old.) Your goal may be 10k, 20k, 50k, or even 100k or more...whatever your goal, whatever your circumstances, we're all in with a common goal: write. And while some will make that goal and some will not, all who stick it out til the end will walk away with a common prize: learning something about how you write.

Between JanNo and Nano, I've been doing this since 2004, and believe me, it never gets easy. I'm sitting here all "Dude, I just got done with a massive amount in November, and I gotta do it all over AGAIN a month later?" And as past years have shown, even old hat is not immune to the stresses of Real Life and struggling with a novel. But it shouldn't be easy. If it's easy, then you just haven't hit a bad day yet, or you just need to step up your goal some more, because chances are you can write more than that. I want you to struggle. Suffer for your art. Most of us don't have rabid audiences and news media that will criticize our every move, so we've got to make the road bumpy SOMEHOW XD (If you do have rabid audiences and news media that will criticize your every move, you need to be sharing them with the rest of us.)

You are going to have ideas you can't get into. You're going to have plot holes you can't resolve. You are going to have days when you don't feel like writing. (There are going to be days when it's REALLY HARD to write a pep talk because your roommate and her friend won't stop screaming at each other in the background. =_=) The method to reach your goal, and the secret goal written in the fine print of that imaginary novelling contract is to figure out how to work around those issues. You can rework your idea or plow through it anyway, you can ignore that plothole or slap a plot-medpatch on it, you can discipline yourself to write every day or figure out when and how to take a break. What works for you best is the thing you will learn during this hectic journey.

Okay, on to some suggestions.

Finally, remember that it's up to you to make your goal. If you want to do it, you can do it. It's really that simple.