find your why

I still really, really can’t adjust to the idea that November 2014 is less than a week away. My son conveniently has a birthday on NaNoWriMo’s kickoff, so this time of year is always my reality check: time is flying.

Writing a novel in a month has become even more important to me, because the weeks and months go by so fast unless I commit to firm deadlines. I know December will be crazy busy with baking, revising another novel, and family. That leaves November as my last great sprint towards meeting my goals for this whole year.

That’s part terrifying, but also fairly exciting.

Last week at our Meet & Greet, I got to see a lot of familiar faces and some new ones. It was great. I love hearing about what other people are writing. I love that we’re writing together. This shared experience of ours makes writing even more fun.

This year, I’m writing the third novel in my modern-day fantasy series about clueless angels and sympathetic demons. And while that sounds like it’s not personal, it is. I’ve got some scenes planned that hit close to home–my own mistakes in faith and self-acceptance have to fuel the fire of this year’s NaNo novel.

That’s my advice to you, in case you thought I could get through a whole NaNoWriMo post without doling out bits of writing encouragement (pro tip: I can’t). Find what makes your novel important this year. It doesn’t have to be memoir or propaganda to be intensely personal and extraordinarily passionate.

But it ought to be passionate and personal. Find the why in your story, why you need to write it, why those characters exist, why someone else needs to hear these words. Hold fast to that why–you’ll need it when the what, the when, the where, and the how have abandoned you. You’ll have the why, and you’ll have the way.

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