Ep. 130: Writing with Abandon with Grant Faulkner

This week I’m thrilled to welcome Grant Faulkner, the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to talk about writing with abandon! We discuss what it means, how to go about it, and why it’s important. In lieu of an editorial mission, Grant shares the word sprint, an old NaNoWriMo practice to help you get your words down—just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.

Be sure to check out Grant's book of essays on creativity, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. It's chock full of missions to help you "nourish your creative mindset every day of the year."

Episode  130: Writing with Abandon writership.com

About My Guest

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He recently published a book of essays on creativity, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. His stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including Tin House, The Southwest Review, and the Gettysburg Review, and have been widely anthologized. His essays on creativity have been published in the New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. He's also published a collection of 100-word stories, Fissures, and co-edited Nothing Short of 100: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story.

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Editorial Mission—The Word Sprint

Sometimes we tell ourselves we have writer's block, but really that's a thought we choose to believe. The word sprint is a simple exercise to help you get your words down. In all his years of sharing word sprints, Grant has never seen anyone incapable of writing. Give it a try!

Write for five minutes, write with abandon, write as fast as you can on a prompt. It can be a word, phrase, or a photo. Try this one: “She smelled the smoke before she saw the fire.”

Bonus: If you're on the fence about Camp NaNoWriMo, or you've been struggling to make your writing a priority, sign up, set a goal, and use word sprints to carry you through. 

Wise Words on Writing with Abandon

Grant paraphrased this fantastic quote from Karen Russell. (Click here to read the entire interview.)

The periods where writing feels effortless and intuitive are, for me, as I keep lamenting, rare. But I think that’s probably the common ratio of joy: despair for most writers, and I definitely think that if you can make peace with the fact that you will likely have to throw out 90 percent of your first draft, then you can relax and even almost enjoy ‘writing badly.’
— Karen Russell

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Image courtesy of Grant Faulkner