I have some terrible news for you, friends. Sit down. Get a cup of tea. This one may hurt.
Now, there’s about fifty million billion books and blog posts all across the land about How To Finish The Damn Book. And a lot of them will tell you the same shit: you need to write everyday, you need to defend that time with a fucking machete and slice up anyone who dares to take it from you, you need to wake up at 4am to get in your writing time or the book will never be done. And. Then. What.
Here’s the thing dude: you have to write your own way.
What? I know. Shocking. I, an artist, with their own creative method and style, am telling you, another artist, that you can and should have your own creative method and style.
Writing your own way may not be my way, or Stephen King’s way, and that’s okay! If you don’t want to write everyday, then don’t. Maybe instead of a “I will write this many words every day” schedule, you just give yourself a deadline. You could do a word count at the end of every week, or a more broad “1st draft done by December 2016”. Fucking, whatever works for you.
Me? I work three jobs. Because I’m psychotic and I have a lot of interests. I spend a lot of time alone to get that work done and then to let my brain percolate and write. I’m not always physically writing in Alone Time, but I am outlining or researching (currently A LOT of researching because espionage history is So Goddamn Much). So although I may not have a word count to report everyday, I do have a growing timeline and research document. I work on my books everyday because I feel really, really shitty if I don’t – but that’s on me. I don’t encourage you to do the same, unless you’re a fellow solitary lizard alien who prefers the company of a book to too many people at once.
And that’s my point here: you have to do what works for you, because in shoving yourself to fit into someone else’s idea of what you should be doing, you could royally fuck yourself. And I don’t want that to happen to you or anyone else. Is writing everyday a good idea? Yeah, maybe, if you need that to insure your book gets done in the time you would like it to be. But I know plenty of published authors who prefer to do 5k in a sprint maybe once or twice a week. And that works for them.
You just gotta full on Frank Sinatra that shit. Scratch it out on paper with cheap pens or bang it out on a typewriter you bought because you’re really fucking into them – it doesn’t matter. Writing is a judgement-free zone, anyone who tells you otherwise is an asshole and should not be trusted.
I’m doing Nano this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Hell, I’d say the majority of the Author Folk That I Know are not participating, cause they have other shit to do, and that’s totally cool. I want to finish the rough draft of this goddamn YA novel by the end of 2016, and this seems like the most logical way to do that.
So this November, I’m not asking you to write a novel, I’m asking you to Write Your Way. Figure out a method that works for you, and try to forgive yourself as much as you can (I’m not good at that either so I Feel You Bruh). Don’t compare yourself, because that shit will fucking destroy you (do not be 18-year-old-me who thought I was garbage for not being the latest teen sensation – you will get there in your own time). Just write the way you want to write, and tell the stories you want to tell.
And the rest will be a funny story for your acknowledgements page.