You could do anything in thirty days. You could run 30 marathons or 780 miles. You could (probably) sail across the Atlantic, from east to west. Thirty days seems like it holds so much possibility in the abstract.

This year, I spent the last four weeks concertedly writing a book.


Every year, as November approaches, I feel the call of the abyss. Like dropping a postcard into a mailbox or contemplating the edge of a drop, the call feels dangerous every time.

For me, November is not just any month. It is the month to get things done. It is a chance to write a novel this year and mean it. It holds hope.

During Nanowrimo, as the days turned into nights, and then honestly, I went to bed at, like, 10:30 pm because I am no longer a young’un, I felt the pull of the abyss from blank pages. There’s something so terrifying and yet exciting about starting something new.

So, how do you write a novel in 30 days or less? That’s what you came for, right? The shortcut?

Okay, here’s how

You laugh at your own hubris for even starting such a journey and maniacally at your own jokes.

You nod in agreement with your own plot twists, acting surprised when they creep up on you.

You read, and some nights, you’ll fall in love with every word.

You try not to edit, but some nights, there is no love for a single word.

You word-sprint because that’s what the experts tell you to do in all the forums, and, honestly, it’s a lot of fun.

You write.

And you carve words into the corners of your brain and paint them onto the back of your soul.

In the middle of the night, you blaze. You itch to be writing again. You’d give it all up to be sat in front of the screen again, watching the words flow.

Sometimes, you drown. Under the weight of your own expectations, under the brightness of a blank page.

But, mostly, you write. And, day by day, little by little, you get somewhere.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *