Writing is like breathing, it's possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what. — Julia Cameron
Novel Writing Month
Every November, my social media feeds are overrun by people participating in National Novel Writing Month. It was founded to promote an internet-based challenge to write a full novel during the month of November. Many people love it, but I have my reservations about the challenge. I would never suggest that someone run a marathon all at once without training. Even if someone managed to do it, they would likely never want to run again. National Novel Writing Month has the potential to burn you out if you aren’t ready for it.
Writing a novel is not just about putting words onto a page. Writing a novel is about spending time getting to know characters, understanding motivations, crafting backstory, and—mostly—thinking and imagining. It is, by nature, a slow process and, yes, sometimes a frustrating one. Certainly, there are ways to speed it up, but if you do, the process can become stressful and messy, and can result in work that requires months of editing.
It doesn’t matter if you put fewer than two thousand words on a page every day, as long as you are being creative, making progress, and feeling joyful.
To me, National Novel Writing Month should be an opportunity to celebrate the art of the novel. It should involve reading. It should involve writing. It should involve engaging with our work, asking questions, and staring out a window if necessary. It doesn’t matter if you put fewer than two thousand words on a page every day, as long as you are being creative, making progress, and feeling joyful.
It’s Always Time To Write
If you are participating in the challenge, I wish you good luck! But if you are not or if you start the challenge and decide it isn’t for you, remember that Bookflow will always track the days you show up to the page. At Bookflow, it’s always National Novel Writing Month.