After working on my NaNoWriMo outline for a solid two weeks, I found it daunting to actually sit down and write the novel I was originally so excited to get started on. The first of November was looming and for some reason I felt like I was too afraid to even put my ideas to paper. I think I had a few fears that many writers tend to encounter when just sitting down to write a novel.
1. I was afraid of people I know reading it.
I have never really been afraid of success like I have heard many other people claim. The idea of my relatives or friends reading a risque part of my book after it gained critical and financial success seemed pleasing to me. If other people think your book is great, than how can they judge you for writing something provocative. That’s just a part of art isn’t it? Rather I feared that once I published my eBook, I would spread it to friends and family, they would be displeased at some of the wording or scenes and then it would not sell any copies.
2. How can I acquire enough time to write a novel without neglecting my friends and family?
I have written freelance articles for quite some time now and I already get some grief from my girlfriend, guy friends and my parents for not being around enough. They don’t really understand that when I say I’m writing, it is my job (or I’m trying to make it my job) and it’s not just some random hobby I occasionally dive into for an hour or two each week. In order to become a full time writer you must write everyday and stress to the loved ones in your life that, yes writing is a passion or yours, but you would also like to become successful at it.
It seems a little strange to me that the largest fears I had about sitting down and writing my NaNoWriMo novel was upsetting friends and family, but I guess this comes with the territory. But the weekend before November, I went on a camping trip with three of my longtime friends from middle school to Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. We canoed (one of the canoes tipped over into the ice cold water), sat by the fire, threw the football around and drank some cheap beers. It seemed so simple but this short trip helped me overcome both my fears about writing a novel and allowed me to relax, unlike many other rituals I have tried. First of all, I realized that your friends and family should not be considered burdens when writing. They deserve just as much time as your writing does, and honestly if I were to choose one it would be friends and family. But in order to become a successful writer we need to minimize distractions. So what better way to do that then right before you embark on a writing binge, let your loved ones know that they are always first in your life. Bring your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend out to a nice dinner and a movie, visit your parents for a weekend or spend a weekend camping trip with your buddies (or whatever you like to do).
While at Devil’s Lake I also realized that these are my best friends and regardless of my financial success or the way I write my novel, they will be around to support me no matter what happens. Finding a support group for your writing is important, and your friends and relatives are the easiest way to assemble that group.
Finally this trip made me relax and find the inspiration to actually sit down and start writing. I live in the city of Chicago and all those people and constant noise and movement can be exhausting. Getting away from the iron and concrete was just what I needed to get back in the chair. Not to mention, most great writers are the ones who travel and see the world. How else can you really describe the sights, sounds and smells of the world without seeing it for yourself?
See ya next time.