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Never say never…to NaNoWriMo’

“Don’t wait to start writing. Write every day, even if you don’t have anything to say”

These are my words, parsed with verve, to anyone, especially the young, who say they want to be writers but are waiting for the right time to begin. When writers-in-waiting asked for my advice on the best word-boosting programs to sign up for, I’d blow a raspberry and say, “You don’t need crutches or magic systems. Just write.”

I was publishing a book a year at that time, busy with book signings, marketing, and social media. I could have written faster and produced more, but I was happy with my output, my success on the golf course, and the time my husband and I could spend traveling.

And then Cancer and Covid hit. My motto and my advice, even to myself, fell flat. With more time at home, you’d think I’d write more, but I wrote less. My brain was syrupy; without events and collaborators to whip up my interest in writing, I became an author without a next book. And I learned: it’s the next book that charged me up!

Two years later, I’m climbing out of my sick and tired crevasse. Eight days ago, I caught Covid, but I also noticed my national Sisters in Crime club was sponsoring a NaNoWriMo collaborative. I signed up. I’m on day nine of the one-hour write-in program, and I’ve produced a thousand words a day on my 12th novel. By the end of this week, I’ll be more than half done with the book and raring to finish in December.

So, I was wrong to say programs that push writing and word count are wrong. Covid and Cancer have humbled me and taught me many a lesson. First and foremost, never say never. Second: works for me. Who knows? It might work for you!


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