I have long suspected I'm a cookie short of a dozen. I have always been vaguely aware that there's only a small distance between "whimsically creative" and "bat shit crazy" -- and that even at the best of times, crossing it would not be that much of a stretch for me.
A couple years ago my friends and I made a list of 52 goals we wanted to accomplish, the equivalent of a bucket list for a year's worth of achievable things. Most of them were simple goals, but measurable.
If you're trying to make a living as a fiction writer, I certainly know a great many self-published writers who are able to do that. Literary writers, or even commercial writers like me, have a tougher time making a solid income from our fiction.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts Nov. 1, which means there's still time for you to get prepped and ready. NaNoWriMo is an annual writing challenge where the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in only 30 days.
Today, on the eve of NaNoWriMo*, we will focus on bad advice for the novelist. We feel we should make this distinction insofar as some of this advice might actually not be bad advice if you are planning on a work of non-fiction.
Hopefully, the majority of you are resting on your laurels and enjoying the extra sleep, but for those who are beginning to feel antsy or wonder what's next, I have a few suggestions for when the NaNoWriMo glow wears off.
Whether you drafted a new novel in November for NaNoWriMo or you're in the middle of a multi-year writing project, one key task in revising your book will be to comb (or machete) your way through it to see whether the imagery is as fresh and original as possible.
As you read thisessay, I'll be taking a nap. Or relaxing on my sofa, eating bonbons and reading Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories. I'll feel that I deserve these luxuries because, between November 1 and November 30, I will have written an entire novel.