We’re in the last week of Camp NaNoWriMo! The clock is ticking. How will you make the most of the final countdown? Today, NaNoWriMo Participant Rosario Martinez reminds us to leave our excuses at the door and put that pen to paper/fingers on the keyboard:
Many will say there is no trick to writing other than to sit and write.
It’s hard to do that sometimes. Life will happen. We all have valid reasons not to write. It’s true. There are things, people, and situations that will make us think twice about writing. They deserve our attention because they are too important to us. But you know what? The real trick to writing is this. If you didn’t already know, let me be the one to tell you. Your story is important. Your story is important because only you can tell it.
No one can tell your story the way you know it — no one but you.
The heart of your story is you.
At this moment in time, only you know your story, and it is important for that very reason. The way you see it when you close your eyes, feel it as your fingertips press the keyboard, or the tip of your pen glides across the paper, your story exists only because you made it so.
That excitement that made you want to write in the first place, that spark? It’s still there hiding—waiting for you.
The words you write matter because only you can write them. The act of writing can sound daunting sometimes, even more so when there’s a word count involved. Sometimes those are the things that keep us away from writing rather than inviting us in. But your commitment isn’t to a word count. It’s to the story you want to tell. The words that are tugging inside your head, begging you to write them.
Be flexible, write when you can, write what you can, but keep writing.
Even when you don’t know what comes next: write. Even when it doesn’t make sense: write. It can be anything. You never know where creating a character’s backstory might lead you to their inner conflict in your story. One thing can lead to another. It takes one word to set everything in motion. Setting time aside, it can be just minutes at a time. Bite-size. You’ll surprise yourself. You can make your word count because you can always change it. Don’t think about what hasn’t been done or how much time you have left. When you remove those restrictions from your writing time, you’ll think clearer, and the story will pop up again. What matters is that you tell this story.
Think of the way your story comes alive when you think about it. Think of the words and watch them jump off the page as you’re writing them. Think of how much you want to know your characters. Who are they? What are they hiding? And why do they want you to write them? Your story is important to you, and someday it will be important to someone else, too. What is this story, your story? Remember that you are the only one that can write it. Only you.
Let your words lead you down the unexpected, the bright and dark corners that you wish to explore.
This story, your story, can only be told by you.
Martinez is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She lives in Dallas,
Texas with her husband and their four sweet but demanding cats. She’s
currently working on her debut YA fantasy novel. She has too many
flannel things and believes a good bowl of nachos is life. To follow her
journey to publication, visit her literary lifestyle blog (https://lemmonavenue.net) or find her on Twitter @rosariomwrites and Instagram @rosariomwrites