How a Month of NaNoWriMo Can Lead to a Lifetime of Better Writing

by Grant Faulkner

When I first became a writer, I marveled at the magical worlds my favorite authors created—their lyrical prose, their riveting plots, their piercing characterizations. They wrote with such grace, such ease, that it seemed as if they’d been born to it, blessed with a talent and anointed by a higher power. They were masters, and I was a simple novice, a bystander who wanted in but was improperly dressed for the fancy dinner party they attended.

Their prose shimmered like diamonds, but what I didn’t realize was that they hadn’t just plucked those gems from an endless supply and dropped them onto the page. Each precious stone was hard-earned, burnished by the unsexy and often uncelebrated traits of diligence and discipline. When we praise the fine craftsmanship of a novel, we gloss over the toughest but perhaps most important roles in its creation: time management, accountability, work.

Every writer who becomes a master goes through a training ground, whether formal or self-imposed. The boot camp of choice for me—and hundreds of thousands of others like me—is the rollicking, spirited grind of National Novel Writing Month each November. With the heady goal of writing 50,000 words in just 30 days, participants at nanowrimo.org learn valuable approaches to the creative process alongside critical habits to becoming a successful novelist.

Read the full article at Writer’s Digest.

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