I recently signed up to be a NaNoWriMo Ambassador, which means that I will be reaching out to newbies and cheering them on come November. This morning I and chugging down coffee and opening all of my windows because I, myself, need similar cheerleading, and perhaps caffeine mixed with healthy air-flow throughout the apartment will help.
I’ve been doing National-Novel-Writing-Month (NaNoWriMo) for years. My first novel was about twins separated at birth. My second novel was about twins separated in adulthood. My next novel is going to be something about people wearing suits (this is all I’ve got so far). I’ve picked up all my old “writing-inspiration books” and piled them on my desk hoping that I can absorb some of their energy and channel it into frenzied writing in November.
“All great ideas come from walking,” (Nietzsche), so I bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday and stomped around parts of my neighborhood I haven’t stomped through before. I took a train ride to literally nowhere (I made it halfway to my destination and then caught a different train back to where I started). I bought the New York Times and flipped through it, trying to find something that would inspire me. Nothing really came.
This morning, I realized that inspiration is good, but no necessary. I can still make work, and perhaps the action of sitting down to write regularly is the most important part. It’s the only thing I am in control of. The inspiration comes later. If you wait around for inspiration, you’re going to be waiting a long time. So, the best thing you can do is show up to work every day.
This is my pep talk. It’s not a rallying battle-cry, but a simple suggestion that if you’re stuck on your novel in November, show up to work anyway and type away. There is no pressure for the piece to be a masterpiece. You just have to be there to write it. Even if inspiration doesn’t come, it knows where to find you.