Deep down, I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. Writing helps me think and clarifies my ideas. The forced focus of putting the right words on the page allows me to think more deeply and intensely about almost any subject. In fact, I’ve had dreams of finally settling down to write and becoming an overnight success. Unfortunately, the main hindrance to my becoming a bestselling author is a severe lack of talent. I cannot even imagine being able to formulate anything as complex and detailed as some of the worst novels I read last year, let alone craft some of the stunningly original and beautiful novels that are my favorites. It’s too intimidating to even get started. I’d heard of people doing National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo] before, but that sounded even worse. If I don’t think I can manage to write anything passable in a year, how could I possibly manage it in one month?
But then Gretchen Rubin talked about writing a full novel in one month in The Happiness Project, and I suddenly had a different view. Rubin wrote her book for fun, just to see if she could do it. She wasn’t expecting anything out of it and didn’t even look at the finished product once she finished. This sounded like something I could do. I started thinking of ideas and picked up No Plot? No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days (2004) by Chris Baty–one of the founders of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo began in 1999 with 21 participants and six “winners.” It has since grown to over 250,000 participants with over 35,000 completing their novels.
This book was exactly what I needed to push me forward. Click here to read more.