NaNoWriMo Advice from J.K. Rowling

Are you one of the millions readying their laptops and caffeine, ready to embark on the crazy month of November that is known to ambitious writers as National Novel Writing Month? As a former participant in the craziness that is NaNoWriMo, I am well acquainted with the struggle to pump out those 50,000 words in 30 days. In an effort to help out my fellow writers as they limber up their fingers and prepare to type, I’ve compiled a list of inspirational quotes about writing from the queen herself. Below, you’ll find words of wisdom about writer’s block, staying true to your vision, and much more! Enjoy and good luck!

Use your writing as an escape this month and know that you can’t fail as long as you’re doing something you love.

Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.

Your book is a work in progress, so reserve all the judgement for later. Don’t edit, just write!

You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is. It’s like learning an instrument; you’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, ’cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with. And read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.

Let the story take you where it wants to go.

I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write.

As long as you’re satisfied, who cares what anyone else says? You do you!

Whatever the reviewers feel about ‘The Casual Vacancy’, it is what I wanted it to be, and you can’t say fairer than that as a writer.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to produce good work.

If you love something – and there are things that I love – you do want more and more and more of it, but that’s not the way to produce good work. So as an author, I need to write what I need to write.

Lastly, know that J.K. Rowling also has moments where she can’t find the ideas. It will all be okay! Just take a deep breath and keep going!

Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.