NaNoWriMo Pep-talk from Howard

You might not be done, but November is. How do you feel about this? Here’s Howard’s take on your success or your failure, delivered with some inspirational lyricism from Jonathan Coulton.

(If you need further inspiration, please enjoy “A Talk with George” as Jonathan Coulton intended. And read the blog entry.)


12 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Pep-talk from Howard”

  1. Loved this pep talk. So true and worth remembering every time the words don’t want to come, when the inner editor screams “hack” when the words ARE coming, because this isn’t always easy.

    Thank you to all four of you for these talks over the last month :).

  2. Thank you. Those words were so beautiful, I cried. I didn’t succeed this year, in the sense that I only got to 5,000 words, where in previous years I made it to 30,000 words.

    I did manage to learn the limits of how much I can try to do at once before failing at everything though.

    Thanks again.

    Much Love,
    Pangoria Fallstar

  3. A heart-wrenching pep-talk… :-) I’ve learned so much from this NaNo month. My biggest lesson was whether or not I could commit to it. My day job has gotten me very used to deadlines, but I was curious to know if I liked doing this enough to stick with it or not. And I guess I so because I made it, and am really proud that. And now… to rewrite. Sigh.

    These encouragements have been much appreciated!

  4. Writing Excuses has been my #1 resource during NaNoWriMo. And I did it! I made it to 50k, even though the story is only half over. But I’m excited to finish (after some napping and paying attention to my significant others), and you know what? For the first time since I was 12 years old, I believe I CAN be a writer and gosh darn it, somebody else might even like it.

  5. Well said, sir.

    That is my favourite JoCo song. I play it whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and defeated. An excellent choice for the end of NaNoWriMo.

    I also would like to say that Writing Excuses has been one of the things that’s helped me get over my self doubt and attempt fiction writing, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m working through the archives now, and it’s so inspiring and helpful. Thank you Howard, Mary, Brandon, and Dan. Please keep up the good work.

  6. Well said, sir, very well said. I absolutely agree. I first did Nanowrimo back in ’06 and it revealed a lot about my writing, and that was after doing “a story a week” for five months. As a huge JoCo fan, and a big fan of “A Talk With George,” quoting that song’s lyrics is spot on to speaking about why we who want to write must write.



  7. Hey Howard … first thanks for all the laughs you have brought me…. and this was a great thought to leave us with at the end of NANO.. I made the word count on a novel concept that only arrived 5 days into Nano when my other plan fell totally apart….

  8. Things I learned:

    1. Don’t ever delete a scene to rewrite it. I should have known better, but it would have made my word count better had I had all 5 copies of some of the scenes.

    2. I write better in the early mornings and in the late evenings. Maybe it has to do with being in that weird state between dreaming and waking. The twilight zone.

    3. One of my stories ended up telling me that it’s not one story unless I try to do some sort of an epic sci-fi (near future dystopian, but hopeful). There were too many characters with their own little stories contributing to the big picture.

    4. My longer endeavor is broken to the point where I’m giving up on it for now, but will write it to “completion” now before trying to fix the stack of character and plotting issues.

    5. I need to be more like Brandon and less like a discovery writer. On re-reading to see if I was properly fulfilling the right promises, I found that I had made no promises worth keeping and didn’t even properly set up the story points and reveals that I wanted from the start.

    6. I need to figure out a way where I can not spend time with my wife during my best writing times. Sadly, those are the same hours that she’s actually home from work.

  9. Deep thoughts by Howard. Very nice.

    I, for one, didn’t finish. I was only participating in spirit, trying to get to the end of my current novel. I didn’t make it. I got 25k done. But I’m proud of that, and I’m in the last scenes of the novel’s first draft. So success was had and I’m certain I’ll finish soon.

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