This is John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in our Stars (and other great books). He’s one of my favorite YouTubers, as he and his brother Hank make weekly videos about nerdy, silly, serious, relevant, and random things. They make you laugh, make you think, and make you want to make a difference in the world.
Oh, and John Green occasionally talks about book-writing. ANYwho, a few months ago he made a video called Cheyanne, Wyoming, in which he brings up something really interesting: the idea of mentally going away while writing. Here’s the video if you want to watch it, otherwise, just skip down below!
I think there’s definitely some merit to this: to write, we have to live in our story a bit. I think this is why NaNoWriMo works so well for so many people: writing a novel in a month forces you to stay in your story for that time without getting out. It’s like signing up for a month in Cheyenne, Wyoming – and you tell your friends and family about it, so they hopefully understand that you’ll be mentally checked out for 30 days.
But what about when it’s not November?
For most of us, we have Day Jobs (or as my friend Amie calls them, ‘Muggle Jobs’) that take up our time. Or we’re students, and class and homework are our day jobs. We have family and friends and responsibilities. We encounter things every day that make it hard for us to exist in Cheyenne. How do we apply this to our busy lives?
Here’s something I’ve found: the longer I go without writing, the harder it is to jump back into my story. Or on the flip side, if I write every day, it’s so simple to climb into my story when I sit down to write.
That being said, the sentiment “WRITE EVERY DAY” tends to make me angry, because it implies that if you miss a day of writing, you can’t be a writer (which is NOT TRUE). But if we look at the heat behind it – that to stay mentally connected with your story, you have to visit it frequently – then I think we’ll learn a lot.
I traveled a lot this past summer. I visited two different continents (Europe and Asia), three different states in the US (Virginia, New Hampshire, and Vermont) and flew over 23,000 MILES. It seemed like I was gone more than I was home. But now I’m home, and settled, and ready for somewhere new. I’m packing my bags for Cheyenne, Wyoming. Anyone wanna come?