Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNoWriMo #7: Writing as part of your life

 One of the reasons I wanted to do something for NaNoWriMo is because in many ways, it’s not so different from the life of every working writer. I think after the initial surge, you’ll find it’s less about plunging ahead pell-mell as it is about finding a rhythm and learning to trust your instincts, whether it’s over a character that doesn’t seem quite right or a thread that looks to be going nowhere. Every day, you have the challenge of working with words on page, and creating or sustaining magic while at the same time being as efficient as possible with your time and energy.

Today’s tip is from Nichole Bernier. I'm so pleased Nichole is joining us today: every aspiring writer can learn a thing or two from Nichole. In addition to writing her forthcoming debut novel, The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D, Nicole has written for a slew of magazines and has been a long-time contributing editor for Conde Nast’s Traveler. She is one of a group of writers who run Beyond the Margins, a lit blog  that provides some of the best writing advice on the web. She manages to do all this and raise her young family. You can follow her tweets here.

“It’s easy to be self-conscious about the pace of your writing, amid the hype of NaNoWriMo and watching the speed of other writers. But completing a novel isn’t a roadrace; there’s no expectation that you finish within a certain amount of time. The important thing is making your characters always a part of your thinking even if writing can’t always be a part of your day. I found that setting a weekly goal of 2,500 words was doable with writing sessions whenever I could grab them—nights, weekends, early mornings, kids’ naptimes. That was also a goal  forgiving enough that I could have a day be a bust without killing the week. It’s also a matter of saying no to the other ways you could be spending your time. For writers with multifaceted lives and responsibilities, many other hobbies and pastimes (hello, exercise, television) might go out the window. It’s about choices.”


  1. I love Nicole's flex-time word count approach. So realistic for parents. She's good.

  2. I agree-Nichole is the best. And if you haven't been to Beyond the Margins, you should check it out. There are a bunch of writers, including Nichole, giving out great advice every day.