A few thoughts on Nano…

Before I launch into this year’s Nano, I thought that it would be good to spend some time on a blog entry to talk a little about process. It helps for me to have a clarifying post and while I’m not sure about other writers, I know that one of the things I always wonder about writers I know is “well, how do THEY do it?” (Like many authors, I am an inherantly, if secretly, nosy person at heart.)

My three personal goals for Nano:

1) I plan to write every single day. Unlike others, I’m not concentrating on word count. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t work for me. I find that failure to meet word count, for me, often turns into feeling like I failed. Writing isn’t about that but rather, about finding your own path to the story you want to tell.

My main goal is to finish a chapter a week. That’s more than enough to be getting on with. 🙂

2) I will encourage myself FOR writing every single day. It doesn’t matter if I write one sentence. It doesn’t matter if I write 4000 words. There are days in every writer’s life where just sitting down and writing that single sentence–only doing that much is the accomplishment. And it’s important to celebrate yourself for writing.

My daughter Amaranth told me after I finished the Universal Mirror as I was having a moment of panic about whether or not I could sell it that it didn’t matter. She pointed out that the real accomplishment was the fact that I’d written the novel and that was what my family and I should be proud of. Fantastic advice from a 14 year-old girl and advice that I’ll hold close to my heart always.

3) Even if I don’t like the story at points, even if I hate my characters, I will keep going. There comes a crisis point for me with every bit of writing I do where I think it’s awful (then I look back on it and doesn’t understand why I believed that). If I have to set that chapter aside and write “finish this later” at the end in order to keep going, I will do that and be unafraid.

There is always the editing process, after all.

…so those are my three goals. What about the rest of you?