In two months, we begin NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I'll be participating again this year, and look forward to the project, but I know a few people who have attempted it, but the pressure to write overwhelmed them.

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. Vincent van Gogh

I want to encourage those of you reading this who want to write a novel but feel overwhelmed with the process of actually writing. It isn't going to be done in a day. It will take time and energy, probably laughter and tears as well - all are part of the joy of writing. The more we write, the easier it comes. In a strange way, writing isn't unlike priming a pump - we have to give a little at the beginning and work through the rough times until the creativity begins to flow.

On the other hand, you may have had gushing waters of inspiration, and now wonder where all ideas have gone. For you, you have half-completed novels with nowhere to go. Relax, every writer has had those moments. It might be that you took a wrong turn and have to back up a little.

Others just feel overwhelmed with the prospect of the length of the novel. Take a deep breath, and write a page - about 300 words - and at the end of the year you will have 365 pages - a novel.

The most important thing is to write - develop characters, create action scenes, fill in the map of your world - all these little steps which seem insignificant count and lead you one step closer to having the novel finished.


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