In honor of NanoWrimo:


Let us write. Let us be right. Let us writer in the mornings and each day when we come home. Let us plan our days around writing. Let us spend the hours we should spend every day of our lives on the idea of plot, the concept of character, the tightening of tension.

For this month let’s turn off our iphones. Lets close facebook, google+, and Twitter. Football season will still be there when you return. For this month lets pretend we are Hemingway, or Conrad, or Hawthorne–anyone who wrote such books of astonishing brilliance. Though things have changed in the lives of writers we still face the same dilemmas of craft. We still juggle the plot and characters. It is no matter whether we struggle with these ideas on a screen with a keyboard rather than pen and pencil, snicker-snacking typewriters. The struggles of craft remain.

Let us write first thing in the morning. The last thing during the day. Let us write as though it is our full time jobs and we are getting paid. Putting in the time is all you need. Set a schedule, leave the bars to those who can not see the end. For it is only 1 month out of the year that this event you can attend. But that isn’t quite right? There is something off with that logic, mainly the fact that the event is you and without you there is no event. So what’s to stop you writing every day. Everyday 1,600 words? One doesn’t need NanoWrimo to get you there. You only need discipline.

Let us gather in the IHops of the worlds. Let us hide away in dens. Let us slouch over our keyboards and listen to the snack-snack-snack of the keys. Let the sun meander along its arc. Let the moon do as well. Let the stars come out, let the wind blow, let the temperature plummet to cold below. Gather blankets. Light a candle. Let the stars wink overhead. Let clouds roll in and rain begin to fall. Lay your head down and set your alarm. Tomorrow you go to work. You’re novel is calling.


I completed NanoWrimo in 2011 and 2012. Both stories were quite rubbish, but only because I was a very new writer. The most helpful thing NanoWrimo did for me was to show me what good writing habits look like. Making time to write everyday–even if just for 15 minutes is what makes writers great in the end–and what makes a person a writer at all. I’m going to post a NanoWrimo guide I wrote last year in the hopes that it will inspire and be helpful to those participating this year. An important thing to remember when you are thinking, “This story is horrible,” is this: you can fix anything, but you can’t fix nothing.




You can fix anything, but you can’t fix nothing.


Those are words I heard from a writer named Flip Kobler, and I believe them to be absolutely correct. To me, finding that something that can be fixed is what NanoWrimo is all about.



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