Good luck, Wrimos!

NaNoWriMo crest.NaNoWriMo starts today, and I’m so excited to write this story! For all those who are nervous about doing NaNo, remember, it’s perfectly normal to be scared. We’ve all been there. When I was in college, I let a professor’s opinion scare me away from writing for three years. I’d get ideas for stories, but I’d talk myself out of writing them, because I was convinced they wouldn’t be any good.

But here’s the thing: not writing wasn’t making me a better writer. The only way to improve at something is to practice it. Professional musicians didn’t start out playing sonatas; they started with scales. First books, and even first drafts of books, are like scales. You learn the notes, learn what fits in this key (with this story) and what doesn’t, find a rhythm that fits. It won’t be perfect, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s a starting point.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to push yourself to get that first draft written. Don’t worry about messing it up. Don’t worry about what your friends or family or future readers will think of it. Just write.

Remember, you can always edit in December.

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