Today on the podcast, I’m talking with Grant Faulkner, executive director of NaNoWriMo. He talks with me about how writing a novel in a month is a great metaphor for being a productive leader and artist.
NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides tools, structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals and build new worlds — on and off the page. Their claim to fame is in their namesake -- National Novel Writing Month, which happens every November. I personally have done NaNoWriMo twice -- once for a yet unpublished novel and once for the memoir I’m working on right now.
Writing a Novel is a lot like any other kind of project where you’ll have a crisis of confidence in what you’re working on. We all have the shiny new object syndrome when that happens and Grant gives some advice on how to handle that along with insights on how to jump-start your creativity.
I interviewed Grant at the 2020 San Francisco Writers Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown San Francisco. I’d like to thank them for letting me crash a conference room. They are some great people. You’ll hear why during the interview. You might hear some background noise and me fumbling a bit with the microphone. Apologize ahead of time for that.
Now, let’s get better, together.
Actions to Try or Advice to Take
- Do a Time Hunt: Take a week and figure out where all your time is spent. Log in all and see where you might have some free time confetti.
- Find your Time Confetti: Small blocks of time (~10 minutes) to achieve progress towards your goals. Look for them around checking email and social media.
- Make Your Creative Time: wake up early, go to bed late, don’t watch NetFlix, or stop reading the news.
- Start Everyday Anew: The past is the past. Try and start your day fresh from what happened yesterday.
- What’s the most important thing: What prioritizes to you have in a day and what’s the most important thing to get done independently of whether or not it’s fun for you.
- Renew your self-confidence: You cannot make or even market something if you don’t believe in it. Renew your self-confidence even when things are not working out.
Links to Explore Further
- National Write a Novel in a Month
- San Francisco Writers Conference
- Ray Dalio’s Principles
- Grant on Twitter and his website
- NaNoWriMo on Twitter
- Author Hugh Howey -- self-publishing success and self-confidence.