Well, it’s that time again. We’re in the midst of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where novices and experts alike try to write 50,000 words in one month.
I wish I could say there are two kinds of writers – those who struggle to craft every word and those who write quickly and with a verbosity that makes me a little jealous.
But there aren’t just two kinds of writers. There are world builders and character developers – authors who spend a lot of time creating backstories and scenes for their works of art. And while you can detect whiffs of this work in a novel, a lot of this writing is not fully incorporated into the final story.
There are outliners who plot down to the sub-chapter and there are writers who work, as Stephen King noted in On Writing, like archeologists uncovering fossils of their story as they go. (Side note: If you haven’t picked up On Writing, you should. It’s lovely).
Then there are character driven writers – who think up (or meet) an interesting character and then follow them around a novel. There a plot driven writers, who have a great story idea and find characters along the way. And that’s just the fiction world. It’s hard to forget the many memoir, scientific, historical, and other nonfiction writers there are out there. And I haven’t even touched on how we write – laptops, phones, notebooks, iPads, and typewriters.
But whatever kind of writer you are and regardless of your participation in NaNoWriMo, I’ll leave you with the words from the song NonStop from Hamilton, which for me seem appropriate as I try to get back on the writing bandwagon:
Write day and night like you’re running out of time?
Like you’re running out of time….
How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive?
How do you write like you need it to survive?
How do you write every second you’re alive?”