Just Write

There’s always a ton of writing advice floating around the internet, and there is certainly no shortage of books on writing.  I touched on that a little the other day in talking about a post by John Scalzi. One thing that they almost always have in common is the advice that you “just have to write”.  Always be writing.

In all honesty, I should be the last one spouting this advice about.  I’m one of those people who hasn’t made it a priority to find make the time to write. That’s the core difference I think.  If  you think of it as “finding” the time to write, you won’t.  If you, instead, think of it as making the time to write, you have a much better chance of actually doing some writing.  What you write, I think, doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that you wrote.  If, at the very least, you use a daily writing prompt of some sort to push you to write, that is a start.  It’s something.

Does it work?  Sure it does.  Looking back at my experience during NaNoWriMo last year, I can say for sure that it does work.  I won.  I wrote over 50,000 words in the month of November 2009.  Since then, when I didn’t have that extra little bit of external push?  I don’t have an official count, but my guess would be something around 10,000 words.  In eleven months.  Why?  Because I haven’t made the effort to write something everyday like I did during NaNo.

As November creeps closer this year, I’m beginning to prepare for NaNo again.   Things are busier this year, and I have a number of ready made excuses for not hitting that 50,000 mark.  But, I’m going to do it.  And then, I’m going to try and finish the year off strong.  Maybe not with a 50k a month writing habit, but maybe something like 10,000 words a month.  That’s less than 350 words a day.  I know that on a slower day in November I easily wrote 1000 words.  I can do it.

If you’re serious about becoming a writer, you’ve got to write regularly.  Make the commitment to it.  Do something like NaNo.  November is a busy month, so if it won’t work for you, try it in January or February.  Bust your word processors balls and write 50,000 words in a month.  I think you’ll be surprised where you make time to write.

Fun, Quick Contest

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend 100 words, Janet Reid has a fun weekly contest going on.  You can enter for about another 30 hours or so, so hurry up. She explains it better than I do, so you should go over and read the instructions.

Here’s my entry:

My name is Simpson.  Some would call me the leader of the Bacon Resistance.  I’m not sure why the name stuck, but it did.  It’s all Fenske’s fault.  We were supposed to have a one-on-one at IHOP, but he had to go and invite Reed as well.  I’ve never liked Reed.  He’s got that squinty pinched face look and always wears glasses that don’t fit well.  It would fit if he could be classified as a geek or nerd, but he’s a damn auto mechanic.  It was the breakfast that started it all.  And I ordered bacon.

The difficult part is in the word count limit.  How do you properly tell a story in 100 words?  There are some wonderful entries there as well, so make sure you read them as well!