15 Nov

The Damn Quitters Club

John Green talks about the writer’s folly and letting your novel retain its promise by quitting now. Or giving up on the great notion that one month’s worth of furious writing is going to produce very much more than a month of furious writing.* It ain’t about the art, it’s about the work. And showing up and staying to the end. Or rolling off the back of the truck and hiding in the bushes before the others really notice you’ve ditched them, then dusting off and walking back down the road whistling your favorite old tune.


Why don’t I quit? I can’t see any reason to–straight ahead writing isn’t that hard (and believe me, I’m one of you who looks for any reason to procrastinate while proselytizing** out of the other corner of my mouth). The NaNoWriMo goals aren’t that hard to meet, especially if you start each session by putting on your Alfred E. Newman “What, Me Worry?” mask (which really freaks the kids out, by the way. It’s great, cathartic fun–after all, those little rats are the real reason you put off becoming a serious writer for the past decade or two, right?)

*You’re only one monkey at a typewriter, after all, not a million monkeys.

**Don’t just read “proselytize,” ┬ásay out loud it like your Uncle Tuck or Aunt Sunbeam from rural West Virginia would, relishing every syllable.