I got the nickname “Evil Blue Pencil Lady” from my kids back when I was homeschooling them. It wasn’t that I was a meanie when I would edit their work (I critiqued the writer and not the person), but I was a pretty strict coach. As a consequence, both my boys are excellent writers, my older son Eric as a novelist and my younger son Ryan as an economist.
Since those days, I’ve coached many writers, giving them feedback on their manuscripts, synopses, or query letters. I’m not much of an Oreo coach–say something positive, point out a problem, finish with something positive. Instead, I’m a problem-solver. I get in there and untangle what’s not working for me and suggest ways to make it work.
So, if you’re NaNoWriMoing, my encouragement will probably not be gentle. You want to whine at me? Whine all you like, but it won’t change the fact that the words need to go on the page. Too tired, too sad, too uninspired? Then write some tired, sad, uninspired words. Just get them on the page and later you can fix them. As Nora Roberts so succinctly said, I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page. Nothing you put on that page is set in stone. You have complete freedom to write crap and later transform it into beauty.
So, yeah, I’d be demanding you run laps despite that sore ankle. And I’ll also be the first one doing the Snoopy dance of joy when you get The Call. Because I believe in you. And I know you can do it.
So get writing.