This is the last of my quotes focused on process and commitment for those of you participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I hope you met your own challenge, whether you got to 50K (or the revision equivalent) or not. The point was to plunge in, to take the risk, to focus on creating something that didn’t exist before, transferring your vision to the page. If you wrote any words, 500 or 50,000, you made progress. And you learned some things about craft and process and, most importantly, yourself.
“Look, we’re all figuring it out. Every book, every creative endeavor, is a new challenge, a new education, so be open to the process, open to failing, but also stay focused and stay organized and be kind to yourself.” – novelist and playwright Lance Rubin, quoted by Natalia Sylvester on Writer Unboxed, 1/5/18
No doubt some of you are getting ready for NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge beginning November 1 that aims to get writers on the page consistently, producing 50,000 new words in a short month complicated for many by holidays and holiday prep. (More about NaNoWriMo here.) The process uses simple tools — scheduling, tracking, goal-setting, and accountability. Plus, prizes. So through November, my Saturday quotes will focus on some element of process and commitment. You’re on your own for the prizes.
“I still have a writing session every day. It’s another thing that organizes your mind. The coffee goes here. The pad goes here. The notes go here. My writing technique is just: You can’t do anything else. You don’t have to write, but you can’t do anything else. The writing is such an ordeal. That sustains me.” – Jerry Seinfeld in a 2020 interview with the New York Times, quoted by media coach Dan Blank in his 9/17/21 newsletter