This is your #NaNoWriMo pep talk

Good morning newsletter subscribers, casual readers, and #writingcommunity #nanowrimo participants! Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I wanted to write a little pep talk for you. If you’re just joining me, you can find out more about me on For my regular subscribers, I’m pausing Music Monday tomorrow so you’re not overloaded with Monica-ness.

Hello and welcome to all NaNoWriMo participants.

Today, you'll participate in NaNoWriMo because you made a month-long commitment. No matter what your individual goals are, like me you promised yourself you will spend November writing your story.

This promise you've made is your first step in a month-long journey. You are the only author who knows, absolutely and unequivocably, what that path will look like. You are the only author who knows what writing habits will work for you and which ones won't. And, you're the only writer who knows which scenes you'll love, which scenes you might cut later, and which ones you'll have to flesh out and revise.

You’ll know all of these things and more, because these experiences will be something you’ll learn and grow from.

November is not just a month you'll spend writing your story and it’s not just any journey. It's your journey. Whether you've written a novel before or not, each day your blank screen might trigger a new emotion or idea. You might even pause, sprint, or skip a scene. Or, you might fall into a familiar rhythm and let your words flow.

You're also going to hear a lot of advice this month to help motivate you and cheer you on. I know you might feel tempted to worry about what you "should" be doing, but the good news is that you're already doing what you should.

There is no "should". There is no one way to write, either. There are no perfect writing tools or story structures or ideal spaces. There's just the act of writing however you need to, whenever you need to, until you'll write "The End". Don't let the hows and whys and therefores get in the way of that initial promise to yourself. You don't need self-doubt, either, because that won't help you fulfill your pledge.

Like you, I made a promise to myself. When you're writing, I'll be writing, too. So many writers will be joining this month's event to write their first draft! But for you, none of that matters either. This month is all about you and your words.

Remember: you vowed to participate in NaNoWriMo to write your first draft. It's that simple. The words you'll write are more valuable than any blank page, because they will be yours. Give yourself permission to focus on your draft. Create your headspace to write all the way through to the end. Grant yourself the freedom to write for ten minutes at a time or several hours--every word matters, even if you have to carve out that space a little bit at a time.

Once your draft is done, then (and only then) can you decide what to do next.

You got this! And don’t worry! Every word matters. <3

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