Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just One

It’s November 1st, also known as NaNoWriMo, day one.


Today is the first day of a very long month. Thirty days is going to go by very quickly. It’ll help if you get used to the idea of having a lot of work to do.

The challenge of National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words in thirty days. That means writing at least 1,667 words each day for the month of November, or about six pages. It’s overbearing to think in those terms, but I’ve found it easier to take in if broken into simpler terms.

One word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, one chapter.

One book…in one month.

That’s my goal for November. And while that goal may be made up of 50,000 parts, for today I’m concentrating on tackling one thing at a time. Today I’m locking up my inner critic and putting away all the rules, all that self-doubt, all the questions – Is this story really ready to be told yet? Do you know these characters, this world, as well as you think you do? 

Can you really write 50,000 words in thirty days?
Don’t know, doesn’t matter.

You may not be as prepared as you’d like to be but if you keep questioning without the intention of ever discovering the answers you’ll never even start, which is worse than never finishing.

Today, when it gets hard to think of writing an entire book in a month, just think of writing one chapter. When it gets hard to write one chapter, concentrate on writing one page. When one page is too much to muster, just work on a paragraph.

When that single paragraph is about to wreck you focus on writing just one sentence.

And if one sentence is too much to handle, just get down one word, just one.

Then repeat.

The rest will take care of itself.

A year ago, I didn’t even know what NaNoWriMo was. Since then, multiple story ideas have gone through my head. But today isn’t about any of those; it’s about just one of them.

One word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, one chapter… one story.

It’s one story within me begging to be given a voice, yearning to be told.

Whether participating in NaNo this year or not, everyone has to deal with an inner critic. What questions does yours ask about your goals and how do you overcome them?

Won't you be my guest? I'm opening my blog to guest posters, so if you have an idea you'd like to share with my readers,send me an email.
Any NaNo-related tips are especially welcome!


  1. Your breakdown is how it should be, Amanda. One word leads to one sentence leads to...

    One by one, piece by piece, word by word, idea by idea, the story fuses together.

    I will be using "NaNo" to wrap up Ring Girl then send it through a rigorous editing process. Still, though, I will be hoping to ride the wave of momentum that is flowing through social media these next few weeks.

    1. :D Yay! Glad to hear you're joining the maddness too... now I don't feel so looney for deciding to do NaNo after all. Good luck A.M.!

  2. Hey! You messaged me on NaNo's website, so I checked out your page, glad to see another blogger! (I think a lot of NaNoers are bloggers, it makes sense, we love to write)

    If I think of any tips or anything, I'd love to write for you sometime and I'd love to have you on my blog too!

    Nice to meet you!
    -Alexandra Anne <3

    1. Hello and thanks for dropping by! It's always great to connect with other writers and blogging is so much fun!

      If you have any ideas for a general writing post, that too is welcomed! And thanks for the invite to write at your blog!

      Great to meet you too!


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