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Beware, sweet, innocent, aspiring writer. People aren't telling you this, and they should be.
NaNoWriMo participants are being deceived into thinking that being an author is a good thing. But
you don't know. You don't know the horrors you might face as a professional, published, full-time

I could tell…

Page 2

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All you need do is quit! Just say no! And you will be saved! But if you continue, and continue, and
continue despite all the sane voices trying to sway you, you will be drawn into the maelstrom of
madness that is the life of a professional writer.

Dear NaNoWriMo…

Page 3

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Imagine being allowed to do something you're not supposed to do.

Imagine you're given the keys to a mud-bogging Bronco, or a dune buggy, or a Lamborghini. And
then, you're pointed toward a field. A soccer field outside a high school, or maybe just a wide
open grassland. Nobody there.…

Page 4

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Leave your mark.

Dear Wrimos,

Of everything I have ever learned as a literary agent and as a writer, there is one lesson that I think
is more important than any other: you must write for your life.

And so this is for those of you who have always known…

Page 5

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Write for your life.

Pull your favorite, tattered, dog-eared book off the shelves. Find a chapter that leaves you
breathless. Start typing it out in a new document, word for word. Don't just type blindly; think
about what you're writing. For me, something about this exercise helps me see the…

Page 6

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ever is written down. That means it's a book, while your idea is just an idle fancy. My dog used to
dream about chasing rabbits; she didn't write a novel about chasing rabbits. There is a difference.

Dear Speed Racers of Literature,

As I write this to you, I am…

Page 7

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tall ships or tell it with divorce in the suburbs or tell it with dancing skeletons and a kraken in the

Tell it fast before you get scared and silence yourself. You'll never wish you'd held back a little

Here you go.

A pristine, untouched month.

An empty…

Page 8

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Let this be one of the joys of NaNoWriMo. As the month progresses, as you print out another
day's worth of writing and add it to the stack of pages, embrace the sheer delight of seeing the
world of your making assemble itself before you. The story within those pages…

Page 9

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When writing a novel, make sure you've upgraded to grown-up ontology. The real world is full of
gnarly details, and whenever you think you have a handle on how complex something is, it just
gets gnarlier. (If you just wondered what the hell a parasitic wasp is, the answer will…

Page 10

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What if one of your lovers comes from another country? There can be cultural clashes, language
confusions, visa problems, political disagreements, and lost passports. All that from simply
remembering that not everyone has the same nationality.

So that's my advice if you're running out of steam. It's not always about…


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