Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

― Steven Pressfield

Hopefully, as we all prepare for NANO this year, we’ll remember it isn’t our job to be perfect. It’s our job to tell a really great story. The best way to do that is to put your head down and go for it. If you didn’t do any pre-planning or pre-writing, it’s too late now.  The purpose of NANO, National Novel Writing Month is to just get it done. The Goal is 50,000 words in thirty days. Roughly, that works out to 1,666 words per day for thirty days. I don’t like to do it that way, since I’m superstitious. I just can’t get comfortable with 666 especially since I write horror novels. So I write 1,700 or 1,500. However it works out.

Are there rules, you ask? No, but a few guidelines.

Must you write every day? No, you don’t have to, but hopefully  you will want to write consistently, which means every day. I keep the word count on a post it next to the computer, so I’m not tempted to edit yesterdays words before I begin my daily count. Since I do edit the previous days work in my normal life, this temptation is great, but in November, I ignore it completely. Good practice for learning to ignore people who will want to see you fail. I don’t know why they do this, but they do and you can ignore them anyway.

What happens if you don’t meet the 50,000 word goal? You end up with whatever word count you’ve got, and you can always try again next year. Hey, it’s a start.

Is there a prize? Yes, the rough draft of your next novel is your prize. Editing is another matter. So this is where most people realize once the first draft is done, there is still a lot of work. Yeah. Even if it is damn near perfect, it still needs editing.  Never forget that.

Oh, and the reason I chose this quote to start? Because I really don’t want you to forget who you really are, and a good way to find out what kind of writer you are is to just go for it. Get that rough draft done and then go forward from there.

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