Today is the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire first draft of a novel (estimated to be at least 50,000 words) by the end of the month. There are all kinds of things to help build inspiration and encouragement along the way such as writing “sprints” posted on twitter, encouraging participants to sit down and write non-stop for 15 or so minutes (it varies). There are also optional picture prompts and other writing exercises.

I’ve always wanted to do NaNoWriMo but have previously doubted myself or accepted the fact that I don’t have enough time. But this year I’m serious about it. I have had a lot of encouragement from fellow writers, writing friends, my boyfriend, my family, etc. to continue with at least one of my novels. My chosen novel is the one I started in Professor Jahn-Clough‘s Writing Children’s Stories class last semester, Escape. The main reason why I stopped writing Escape was because I didn’t know where to go with it. I knew what I wanted to happen in the end, but didn’t know how to get there. So I stopped. Big mistake. Writers should never stop writing. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about getting it down. You can (and if you’re a true, good writer, you will) always go back and revise it anyway. First drafts are supposed to kind of suck. It’s about forming the basic ideas, not writing the perfect novel. No one gets it right the first time around.

For all of my fellow writers, happy NaNoWriMo and good luck! Keep writing and keep making progress! We’ve got this!