I needed this pep talk

If you’re knee-deep in your NaNoWriMo novel (like me) and you’re seriously thinking about quitting (like me), read this pep talk from John Green before you do.

Here is the excerpt that got my attention:

“Why do I quit halfway in? I get tired. It’s not fun anymore. The story kind of sucks, and it’s hard to sit down every day and spend several hours eating from a giant bowl of suck.”

Read more…


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. K.M. Weiland
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 11:16:04

    “Giant bowl of suck” – I like that! Well, actually I don’t *like* it, but I surely do resonate with it! “Quit” is the dirtiest four-letter word I know, simply because it becomes such a hard pattern to break. None of question that writing is tough business. Most days, it takes everything we’ve got to sit down at our keyboards and poke out a few words. But if we get into the habit of *not* quitting, it becomes that much easier to keep going.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Nov 16, 2010 @ 07:37:09

      I know, I am learning that a good deal this year. The biggest writing lesson I’ve had in 2010.

      As I was looking for some things to possibly add to my story, I leafed through my journals from this year. I tried to write every weekday. Sometimes my writing was random, just some tiny plot I had rolling around in my head. But honestly, some of it was really good. I was like, “I wrote that?”

      I never would have had those little tidbits if I hadn’t spent time writing every day, even if it wasn’t toward a book.


  2. Shaddy
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 21:24:09

    Great pep talk!

    I like what John said. I like everything he said. I like hearing that knowing what we’re writing isn’t very good is okay. I like hearing that it’s fine to be writing just so when we’re done we can look back on November of 2010 and know that we achieved something uncommon, not to be achieved by the average Joe or Jane.

    I had knots in my stomach a good share of the day today. I had things I wanted to do besides writing my daily quota and my husband had things he wanted me to do with him. My time was threatened and I wondered if I would go to bed behind in my writing goal. I agonized over that possibility. After all, weekends are supposed to be my best writing days. I overreacted by getting myself uptight about it. That’s me all the time. Well, at least some of the time. See what I mean about overreacting!!

    Anyway, even though you struggle and I struggle and a whole bunch of other people are struggling, it’s not an altogether miserable existence, being a participant in NaNoWriMo. Under the stress and self-doubt, if we step back and consider all the words we’ve put down, won’t we be wiser and more adept at using words at the end of this month than we were on November 1st?

    Back in BWW, Anne told us time and time again that to learn how to write, a person had to practice. Writing 10,000 or 20,000 or 30,000 or 40,000 or 50,000 words is a hell of a lot of practice writing.

    So here’s to words and the crazy power they have over us.



  3. Natasha
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 21:23:42

    The pep talks and encouragement make NaNo worth it for me. And, of course, the sense of accomplishment (or whatever it is) that comes with sticking with what you start.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Nov 16, 2010 @ 07:32:51

      I have often in my life been the person who gives up on something halfway. So for me to cross the finish line of any goal I set is a super boost of confidence for me!


  4. Parrot Writes
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 10:32:20

    I appreciated his pep talk too. My favorite lines were in response to why we should carry on after week two:

    Because in two weeks, when you are done, you will be grateful for the experience. Also, you will have learned a lot about writing and humanness and the inestimable value of tilting at windmills.


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