Put your pencils down!

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase in school before. I know I did. I hated hearing it. I never had my pencil up, but that’s aside from the point. Even with NaNoWriMo, we have a strict time limit of one month to write something that is part of truly devoted field of work. People make a living out of writing, yet many who do NaNoWriMo see it as a chance to simply get their work finished. That is the biggest lie in all of literature. It’s not here so you can finish a book. It’s here for you to get your first draft done with. You have tons of editing to do. It may take you a few months or it may take you a few years like it does for bestselling author John Green.

What’s important is that you don’t put your pencils down. You keep on working and writing until you have a complete book. You’re not here to simply finish your story and see how it goes. You’re here to get your first draft finished so that you can get to work on your second. My first draft is not an amazing work of art. You can see the characters, what they do, what happens to them, how they react, and most of the world around them, but that’s it. You don’t see all of everything, and you won’t until the book is finished. Don’t quit your day job just because you wrote 50,000 words in one month. Your book is NOT going to be the next best seller if you don’t revise and edit it. Even then, there are no promises. You’re taking a shot in the dark just like the rest of us. No writer is better than all the others.

Lets take a look at some well known writers for a moment. Stephanie Meyer is the most talked about author at the moment. Her works are known all across the world, but there are people who hate her stories. I personally think that she could have done so much more with Twilight. I don’t think it’s a good story, but it has a lot of potential. That’s why I was able to read her other story, The Host, which is one of my favourite books. The next author I’d like to talk about is one that I have never read anything for, but I would love to. Maureen Johnson is a writer that I will always support. I follow her on Twitter, and I pay attention to what she does on top of what books of hers that I want to read first. *coughcough*LetItSnow*coughcoughcough* Why do I do this when I haven’t so much as picked up one of her books? Simple. I’ve read how she does things in the outside world. She doesn’t just write about herself or her books all the time. She is exactly like you and me. Maureen is one of the most successful lesser known writers out there. Not a lot of people know about her compared to Meyer, yet I believe she is the better writer, even though I have yet to read anything she’s done.

How is this possible? How can somebody like something they’ve never read more than something that’s popular? Simple. Being a best seller is a hard thing to do, especially in this day an age where fewer and fewer people care about books. Maureen has a style about her that I’m drawn to. I want to see what she can do as a writer. Meyer didn’t get to me like Maureen did. She was popular, and I looked into what she had done. I didn’t like it until I read The Host. I’m still not a Meyer fan, but I will give her credit for making a book that I enjoyed. I don’t enjoy Meyer’s writing style though. Many people do, and that’s great. Meyer needs to be able to keep things up so that she can support herself.

That brings me back to my point. Don’t put your pencils, pens, keyboards, laptops down. Why? You have to keep on going. If you’ve got one good published book, then why don’t you have a second one on the way? I have my one story to work on right now, but it’s part of an entire world. I plan to write in that world for as long as possible. I may break away someday to work with other writers, but that’s not for today. Today, is for making myself a better writing, a day for starting something beautiful. Today is my beginning, and if you’re reading this, then it might be your beginning as well. Now go, pick up your pencil, and write until you have nothing else to write about. My pencil is up. Is yours?


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