Finish Your Novel this November

I know, it’s still 3 months away! But if you are a Super Outliner like me, you’ll need that time to prepare.

This November is the time to finish that novel you’ve been dreaming about, writing on and off, planning for but never getting past those first few pages. What is NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month. It is a time when writers from all walks of life stop life and make art. The goal is to write a novel in a month, although for just writing 50,000 words you get lots of prizes and goodies, usually including discounts on Scrivener, freebies with Createspace, and access to lots of other great resources for writers.

Even though I don’t always make the goal of finishing a complete novel, I have been able to reach that 50,000 word goal for the past three years I have seriously participated. NaNoWriMo really works for me because I plan to make sacrifices for my novel during November: getting up early, staying up late, writing instead of watching tv, writing instead of playing video games. I still make time for some social things, mainly church stuff and time with my husband (who is very supportive during November; God bless his latte making skills!), but during this month, the people I see the most are other writers participating in the event.

The awesome thing about NaNoWriMo is the support you get from other writers continually. When I write with Valerie Cotnoir (author of Bridget’s Journey and Everylasting), we are always encouraging each other, pushing through writers block, and taking time to listen to what the other is working on. It gives me so much motivation during November to know that there are other writers pushing towards the same goal as I am. It’s not a competition, it’s a team event. For me, that makes a big difference in November, and is a huge part of my success.

November is a month to be physically and mentally tired, because you are pushing to pump out words faster than you can think them. During November, writers are encourage to never edit anything. Don’t hit that backspace button, just press on. Don’t lose time focusing on mistakes or something that ‘could be better’, just get the story down. The entire story. There is plenty of time to edit in December and January, but Novemeber is for writing. That is another big reason why I love NaNo. Rather than trying to nit-pick at falts and failures, it’s a huge boost to my writing confidence.

You can do this. You’re going to do this. Press on.

The world needs your story.

Registration will begin in the coming months. This is your three month notice to get ready! It’s time to finish your novel this November.

Discovering My Story

One of my all-time favorite authors, Ted Dekker, recently came out with a short interview and e-book about how he views writing, the thing he says has helped him sell millions of books and able to write for a living. You can download both items for free HERE!

Ever since listening to and reading his advice, I have been diving deep into planning for the Book Book. (I’ll fill you in on The Blessed status later.) I had my world built, my characters developed, my plot structure basically figured out, and, upon gaining his advice, have been seeing the Book Book and its characters in a completely new light.

It’s a viewpoint that says “this is my story”, not simply the story of my characters. I spent an evening soul searching, being vulnerable, and listing down my insecurities, fears, struggles, and false identities. I looked at the list and found that my two main characters could identify with many of the things I struggled with, but there were a few themes that were the strongest connection between the three of us.

It’s a theme of people pleasing, spurred from the fear of failing others. A theme of sacrificing doing what is right in order to do something good that others will see.

This theme has spurred on a lot of searching, and while a few answers have risen quickly to the top, I know there is further down the rabbit hole to go yet:

 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a daughter of the King.
Galatians 1:10

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

I love the reminder that Ted Dekker brought up time and time again, that when we have inspiration, we are in the Spirit and I look forward to having my eyes opened as I grow with my characters in discovering what it looks like to have a servant’s heart but not with the goal of gaining other’s approval, but instead as a way to live out my identity as an Heir with Christ.
Romans 8:17