First the commercial: If you have a few minutes, please take a listen to CC’s and my weekly podcast for writers. We may not be particularly successful at the writing gig except in our own minds, so as they say, “those who can’t, teach.” We’ve learned a few things along the way and are happy to share.

Speaking from our experience, we’ve seen how some writers develop a kind of “tunnel vision” when engaged in their writing project. Lord knows we’ve been there ourselves, and we sometimes lose the side vision whenever November rolls around. We all know I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo.

In today’s podcast, we spoke about NaNoWriMo at length, and listening to what we said, we may have sounded like we’re on the fence on whether to participate. Well, no. We believe in NaNoWriMo, but like all things, we suggest that you be cautious before jumping in with your full fledged attention.

For myself, I appreciate and admire the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. That is an incredible feat because you wrote a book! There have been billions and billions of people who’ve had a written language in their lifetimes, but so very few people have sat down and written a novel.

(Here comes the “but” you’ve been waiting for.)

Typing about 1,700 words a day for thirty days is a lot of work for many people. And when you are not actually typing those words, you may be thinking about them, night and day. They call that “obsession,” you know.

If you skip two to three days due to real life events, you will quickly find yourself thousands of words behind the eight ball.

And what about that frantic energy at the end of the month during the Thanksgiving Day holiday to make that goal of 50,000 words?

I’m probably overdramatizing this a bit, but maybe not.

I guess what I’m saying is the most important thing we writers should focus on first in November is our good mental health, and writing a book second. (Actually, that’s every month, but you get my point.) Set realistic goals for your style of writing. Reward yourself when you make those goals, and be kind to yourself on tougher days. Be strong, be good, and behave.

We pour so much of our soul and personality into our writing as it is. Running a timer with a word counter on top of that is an extra layer of stress and drama that we may not need right now.

If you think I’m full of crap, that’s fine. You’re probably right. Be true to yourself, above all else. Go forth, get those 50,000 words, and win NaNoWriMo!. Good luck!

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