I'm feeling more scared than normal on this fine Halloween morning, but it's not because of what you think. Yes, there will be a few parties tonight that I still don't have a costume for, but that's not why I'm scared.
Last night I sent The Other Side to my two friends who promised to read and critique it over the next month or so. Aside from the first couple pages, no one has read any of it and I'm anxious to hear what they think. I like the story and I believe it has potential, but it's difficult to judge the quality of your own writing.
Meanwhile, NaNo begins in fourteen hours and I still need to work on my outline. I have about 500 words of notes, plus a paragraph summarizing each of the first five chapters, but I need a bit more substance if I plan to make it through this. One weird coincidence - last night I was reading the Self magazine my friend brought for me and there's a section where they give you tips to make small changes in your life in three, five, or ten minutes. The three-minute tip for November is:
Start Writing a Novel.
(Pardon the laughter. I thought writing a novel in a month was a feat, but three minutes? But I know what they mean.)
The article goes on to explain NaNoWriMo and gives three tips from published NaNo veterans:
• Find a Personal Storyline (write what you know)
• Turn Off That Critic in Your Head (allow yourself to write crap)
• Stay Motivated (write with friends!)
All good advice, and I'd like to pass that along to all my writing friends, whether you're doing NaNo or not.