One (Pep Talk) for the Road

When I discovered I would be bringing up the rear in pep talks this year, I wondered if it was just a coincidence or if my fellow MLs had voted me most likely to still be writing at the eleventh hour. In any case, here I am and, although I am now on track with my word count, it took 28 days of slogging along behind the pack, waving away the dust, to get here. The irony is, now, with the end game in reach, I see the true unimportance of word counts and those pats on the back we will get from winning.

Sure, on the surface NaNoWriMo is all about cranking out 50,000 words and throwing a big party but, if you look a little deeper, you see the true genius of the effort – the stories that are shared with humanity. At the Night of Writing Dangerously this year, my family sat with a transgender millennial, a teacher from an economically challenged town, and a young teenage writer and his mother. Theirs are stories that need to be told, perspectives that deserve to be shared, and there are millions more, including yours.

Through the habit of daily writing, our voices become stronger. In 30 days, we will have sharpened the tools we use to show who we are and what we contribute to the world. So whether you are closing in on this year’s 50k, or hovering at the bottom of the chart, what’s important is that you keep on going.

Hone your voice, tell your tale and send it off to join the wild, swirling mass of stories that become life lessons for us all. As my autocorrect would say, “Duck the word count!” Let your voice be heard.

Cheers!
Surfwriter

Pep Talk

There are eight days left. Eight days.

How have we come so far so quickly? Blast off seems like ancient history and yet the end of the month seems impossibly close. It’s the NaNo time warp, I suppose. If you are done already or so close you have no doubts, you probably aren’t even reading this. And that’s fine.

This is for the rest of us. The ones who agreed to go for the impossible, and even if it feels impossible still, we are still showing up. There is magic in that. Do you feel it?

Think back to when you thought doing NaNo was a good idea. Take a few deep breaths and remember. The joy, the excitement, the trepidation, the thrill of embarking on a dream. Settle down with those feelings and breathe.

Close your eyes, and let your characters gather around you. See their faces and hold their hands. Why did you fall in love with them in the first place? Take a few more deep breaths, and just listen to them for a moment. Let them tell you why they chose you.

Breath deep and remember the story burning inside you. Did it creep into your dreams? How many years has it been percolating in your thoughts, niggling at the back of your brain. What twists did you plan? What message did you want to share?

Take another deep breath, and utter the words “I AM a writer.” Whisper them if you have to, “I AM an author.” Let the words wash over you and seep into your being. “I AM an author.” Now take another deep breath and let the truth of that sink in.

Adjust yourself in your chair. Wiggle those fingers. Stretch or crack your back. And come back to the pages of your novel.

Your story awaits you. It’s yours; you are the only one who knows how to write it. In just eight days, you’ll be able to say “I wrote a book.”

You are an author and you can do this. You ARE DOING this. Keep going.

Write on! Jules

PS Think of your favorite book. Now imagine a world where that author gave into self doubt and never wrote it.Who are you to deny the world your story? Write on….

Enjoying the Woods

I’m sure some of you realized I was posting lyrics from Into the Woods in several of my past emails.

It just works so well for NaNo and our novels.

Your character (and you) are given a task and you must go into the woods to complete it. Unlike the play, we get 30 Midnights instead of 3.

You know this story because it’s been told many, many times and veteran Wrimos all agree:

The path is straight,
I know it well.
Into the woods,
And who can tell
What’s waiting on the journey?

It’s exactly what we’re doing here. And not only that, but like Red, The Baker, Jack, and Cinderella we don’t really want to do this. We kind of have to do this. If we want our wish (50,000 words of novel) we have to go into the Woods.

I’ve been entering the woods for nine years now and it’s always much the same.

The way is clear,
The light is good, 
I have no fear,
Nor no one should.
The woods are just trees,
The trees are just wood.
No need to be afraid there—
There’s something in the glade there…

Just ignore the distractions and relax with your writing in the evenings and when you have time. Even if you fall behind, get waylaid by a handsome prince or devoured by a wolf, you can come back with a few word sprints and be on your merry way.

It’s times like this I wish I could write all the Pep Talks and therefore give you the important verse each week as it comes up, but I’m not so I will just remind you that in the end “all that seemed Wrong was now Right and those who deserved to were certain to live a long and happy life — Ever After.

Unless, like most of us, you do NaNoWriMo again.

But everything you learn there
Will help when you return there

Seven Midnights Gone!
-Xander

The light is getting dimmer — I think I see a glimmer.

The Prologue on Youtube
Ever After on Youtube
Finale on Youtube