One more day until NaNoWriMo commences!

For some writers National Novel Writing Month means a month full of hope and new opportunities, while for others, NaNoWriMo signals an intense 30 days of writing hustle. Hopefully you’ve spent the last couple days mapping out your future, November endeavors, but if not, no need to worry!

You may suddenly realize that you don’t have a solid novel idea, or it’s not developed enough to start banging on the keyboard. Sit in a Walmart for a day. Write down what you observe. Make up the backstory. Just write. It doesn’t have to be mind-numbingly brilliant. It’s for you and you alone. Use your words as therapy.

It is important to view NaNoWriMo as a blank slate filled with opportunity. This month, these 50,000 words are for you. Your taste. Your style. Your desire to put words on a page.

If you have a working novel idea but you don’t have a complete outline in your head, you can always skip around and come back to the plot holes. I repeat, you can skip around! Don’t worry, it’s not just you who falls victim to the idea that you must write in chronological order. If a middle scene comes at you, start writing. If the climax or pieces of the end come to mind, write that, too. It doesn’t matter if it’ll be changed later. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to set a goal and force yourself to stick to it. Stop procrastinating with those binge-worthy Netflix shows and start writing your own binge-worthy story!

Don’t write novels? There is still a place for you in NaNoWriMo. The ultimate goal of November being to simply get words on a page; poetry, short stories, or song lyrics. Whatever you put on paper, however it gets there, just push yourself to create.

For years, I thought I belonged in a mental institution or needed professional help because, seeing a shoe discarded on the side of the highway, I would formulate an entire journey and story for the shoeless hitchhiker it belonged to. My friends didn’t do this. They thought about “normal” things, like bills and 401k’s. I realized that while I loved my friends, there are significant benefits to being around other writers.

There is effortless breathing in community. A place to gasp and loudly declare, “I do that, too!”

So please, consider participating in NaNoWriMo. Even if that looks like showing up to a Write-In to eat snacks and talk about story ideas. We want to see you!

Our first Write-In is Nov 8 from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. in room 333 in the LARC on Lindenwood University’s campus. We sincerely hope to see you there!

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