That accelerating metronomic sound you hear is the NaNo clock about to blazon the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo competition. TOMORROW marks the beginning of the 2007 event, which means there’s still time for you to sign up if you haven’t already. (Visit the NaNo site HERE to do so.)
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing NaNo’s founder and fearless leader, Chris Baty, about what NaNo is, how it’s evolved and what’s in NaNo’s future. Missed parts one and two of our interview with him? Click HERE and HERE to catch up, then come on back. In this, the third and final part of our interview, Chris offers some last-minute NaNo advice pulled right out of his inspirational book No Plot? No Problem! and tells us a little more about his stunning philanthropic ventures–all in the name of creativity and personal growth. Enjoy!
Part 3: Interview with Chris Baty
Q: Tell us about your book, No Plot? No Problem! Is it meant only to help people striving to succeed during NaNo month? What prompted you to write it?
CB: I think for me it was the desire to have a book like this when I’d written my first novel. I kind of put everything in it that I’d learned from four years of NaNoWriMo and added advice I’d solicited from people who’d done it for many years at that point. A lot of it was to try to get at those ideas and those counter-intuitive lessons that you learn—that when you turn off your inner editor, you oftentimes end up writing better and this idea that it’s okay to be imperfect as a writer and in fact there’s a real power in imperfection.
Also, NaNo month tends to follow a familiar trajectory for a lot of people. Week one starts, and you’ve gotten your words down on paper, and you feel you’re a god and you have no idea why you haven’t done this your whole life and the world has waited far too long for your eloquent gift. Week two comes and that’s when you feel like a truck has kind of parked itself on your face, and that you are the worst writer who’s ever lived. This is because week two usually means making really difficult decisions about plot: you have characters and not you have to something with them. Even professional novelists typically struggle at that point, and they’re usually dealing with a timeline where that crossroads may not occur until the six month point or the one year point. They write at a more humane pace. It’s just flat-out a tough time, and that’s where a lot of people quit. I think No Plot, No Problem can help walk people through those phases and lets them know week two is going to be miserable and they should just accept and embrace it.
Q: All right, what is a “wearable, writing-enhancing object” anyway? [Read more…]