What Writing Doesn’t Have to be

For a lot of writers, November is all about unorthodox writing.  So, without further ado, here’s what writing doesn’t have to be:

Done Alone.

A lot of writers think that writing is solitary.  But actually, the best writing happens within a community.  And there ARE communities out there! I give you evidence:

  • Critique Circle
  • NaNoWriMo (and Camp NaNo), and sprints, and write-ins, and all the other glorious things that make writing a group effort.
  • Writers Clubs (there’s one at my local library.  There might be one at yours too!)
  • Friends who are currently doubling as Beta Readers

Perfect on the First Try.

Or even good.  Or make sense.  In fact, the moment that we realize that our first drafts are allowed to stink, we are given an incredible freedom to follow our imagination where it leaves.  This is part of the brilliance of NaNoWriMo, and it is something I’m still trying to learn.


  • I have a dream about a hashtag for NaNoWriMo called #NovelingInNovelPlaces – the general premise is that we post pictures of all the ridiculous places we take our laptops throughout the month.  So far, my list consists of The Car, a Pizza Place, A Tent, and Sitting Around the Campfire.  It’s all about getting in our word-count and starting conversations about writing.  The point is this: novel-writing doesn’t have to be done in a basement or at Starbucks.  But those places work well too.
  • Sometimes I reward myself with twizzlers.  Sometimes I write in my room.  Sometimes I listen to crazy music.  It’s okay to do whatever it takes to get the story down.
  • How about this guy who published a story that takes place in another person’s world?


A lot of time when I explain to my friends that I enjoy writing, they look at me like I’m crazy.  “I hate writing essays,” they say.  And then they receive an hour-long speech about how creative writing is different.

Because honestly, I can lose myself when I write the same way I can when I read.  So that the words fall away before my eyes and my forget I’m sitting in my room, and suddenly the fantasy world is real.

Writing is exciting.  There are scenes in TSOC that make me cry when I read them.  There’s a scene where a character gets an arrow pulled out his shoulder, and I flinch Every. Single. Time. I read it.  There are scenes that leave me on the edge of my seat, scenes that leave me breathless as I write, scenes that whirl me away to another land.

That’s why I write.

2 thoughts on “What Writing Doesn’t Have to be

  1. That’s why I write as well. To be swept away to another land, to be caught up in the flurry of it. To follow along on a wonderful adventure that leaves you breathless and wide-eyed. To laugh at the ridiculous jokes your characters’ make, even though most people wouldn’t. To mourn alongside them, to see them come alive…

    …and to huff in exasperation when someone disturbs you in the middle of it.


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