Today is November 1st. It’s not just a new month or the day after Halloween, it’s the first day of National Novel Writing Month, or as it is more affectionately known by writers, NaNoWriMo.
I participated five years ago and a novel came from it, but it wasn’t the best work I’ve done and so it remains buried. But this year I am excited about the novel I am writing because it’s just a really neat idea.
So, I wanted to share some thoughts with my fellow writers who may be struggling with the thought of getting through an entire month of writing. I am reading a wonderful book by Wayne Dyer. In it he suggests that the reason we have failed at things that we have tried to accomplish before is not because “it wasn’t meant to be” or because “things just didn’t work out” but because we lacked one thing: being willing.
He goes on to say that when we have a dream or a goal in our mind it’s already here in the now. We just have to go about doing the steps to bring the thing to pass. But we have to be willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what that means. He also said that if we find ourselves hesitant to be willing to do whatever it takes, then we should reexamine that particular goal or dream because that hesitancy is your spirit self telling you that this isn’t the right path for you.
That was such a moment of clarity for me. Here’s another one. He said there is no failure only results. When you set out to do something you get a result and you keep working at what it is that you want until you get the result you want.
So I was kicking myself for failing at other things when really two things were happening: I wasn’t failing, I was getting results, just not the one I wanted; and I wasn’t completely willing to put myself out there because it wasn’t really my path.
With writing, I had put myself out there, but then I let the rejections I received (a result) keep me from working until I got the result I wanted (publication).
Here’s another gem I read in a book called Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. She said to look at myself as two individuals. There is the pragmatic, logical person. This person handles the rejection letters, the editor’s notes, the critiques from those we let read our work. In effect, this person handles the “business” side of writing and creates a productive environment for the writing to take place.
Then there’s the creative person. This is the person who lives in your mind and gives you the ideas. This person has all the awe and wonder of a tiny child who sees everything in the world as new and fantastic. This person is rather whimsical and doesn’t like to be given a routine by which to share his/her ideas, but when given a set time every day in which to write, will come around and eventually learn to give of him/herself freely.
The book goes on to say that the trick to being a successful writer is to build a wall behind which the creative person can grow at his/her own pace. The pragmatic person deals with the day-to-day of the world and responds to it, while the creative person is allowed to stand behind the wall and look out on the world and observe it freely and use what it sees to create stories.
These two pieces of advice have really changed the way I not only approach my writing career but how I handle the hurdles that pop up from day to day.
So…am I overwhelmed by the thought of 50,000 words in 30 days? Not at all. Why? Because my goal is to become a published author — a national best-selling published author — and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
I’m not in over my head, I’m out of my comfort zone. And that’s where the good stuff happens.
So you may not be a writer like me but I’m sure you have a dream or a goal. So I’m sharing this with you hoping that you will see your goal from a different perspective. Speak kindly to yourself. Forgive your past failures. And remember there is no failure only results and you need only keep persevering until you get the results you want.