5 Days to NaNoWriMo: Many Baby Steps = Giant Leaps

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5 Days to NaNoWriMo: Many Baby Steps = Giant Leaps

You’ve heard this piece of wisdom a thousand times, from your toddler days right up to this present moment: Many baby steps add up to one giant leap. And you know this, know it down deep, where you don’t even really have to think about it anymore because, duh, it’s so obvious.

But it is precisely that quality of obviousness—that sense of this idea being shopworn and past its prime and thus in a way somehow beneath notice—that requires it be brought up now. Writing a book is all about baby steps. About putting one foot in front of the other again and again, tirelessly, ceaselessly, until thirty days from starting, you discover you’ve written an entire novel.

And that’s part of the genius of NaNoWriMo: It forces you to split the gargantuan task of drafting a novel into thirty bite-sized chunks, each of which is doable. The notion of writing a sixty-thousand word novel is intimidating as all hell; the notion of writing two thousand words in a single day is doable. Daunting, but doable.

They may not be the best 2,000 words. They may not even be a good 2,000 words. But they’ll be there, out of your head and onto a page, where, later, you can revise them. Which is where all the best writing happens, anyway.

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