128: How to Write a Novel in a Month: Interview with Grant Faulkner

Many people believe they have a novel in them, but they fail to ever write it. They sit on the dream for years and a word never reaches the page. What they don’t realize is getting started is easier than they think.

128: How to Write a Novel in a Month: Interview with Grant Faulkner

Last week, after five years of writing non-fiction, I began working on my first novel. The process of becoming a student again has been eye-opening and thrilling.

After signing up through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), one of my favorite observations is the power of community to propel a creative in their pursuit. Everyone is chasing a common goal and encouraging each other along the way.

This week on The Portfolio Life, the Executive Director of NaNoWriMo, Grant Faulkner, and I talk about leveraging collaboration to fuel creative output, growing to over half a million members, and why writing a novel is like running a marathon.

Listen in as we talk about preparing for a new writing project, how to conduct a “time hunt”, and the life-changing impact of writing a novel in a month.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Grant and I discuss:

  • The accidental beginning of a worldwide creative phenomenon
  • Why community creates powerful momentum for writers
  • How accountability drives productive writing
  • Which unconventional trick is the best writing incentive
  • The parallels between overcoming addiction and creative work

Quotes and takeaways

  • “Creativity flourishes with other people and in collaboration.” —Grant Faulkner
  • “Everyone has a story to tell. And everyone’s story matters.” —Grant Faulkner
  • “Writing a novel is the prize unto itself. That’s the gift you’re giving yourself and the world.” —Grant Faulkner
  • “Our stories connect us as human beings. They are what make our life rich.” —Grant Faulkner
  • “Novel writing is largely about building a big structure through small increments.” —Grant Faulkner

Writing a novel is the prize unto itself. That’s the gift you’re giving yourself and the world.

Grant Faulkner

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What do you love about new writing projects? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Share in the comments.

4 thoughts on “128: How to Write a Novel in a Month: Interview with Grant Faulkner

  1. Another great podcast, thanks for the tips. I am currently pantsing my way through my first gawd-awful NANOWRIMO novel, but having a ton of fun.

  2. This is my second year at NaNoWriMo, and I’m continuing a project I started last year, but with a different take on it. I’m combining handwritten writing in my composition notebook, and later typing it into Scrivener. I have the structure for the project laid out, but I’m not limiting myself to starting at the beginning and working chapter by chapter in sequence to the end. Since my book is based on a true story, I am memory mining as well as putting details together in a timetable. These two items are really helping to propel me forward. No writer’s block. Just move on to another scene. Later I go back and reorder the scenes as needed.

  3. Our NaNo Writiers group used to see how many words they could write each time someone went to the bathroom from the time they left to the time they got back. We would try to get at least 100 words and would tell them to take their time as they walked away. The games make it fun to write in groups. Writing is a GREAT group sport! LightHouseLifeLessons.com/blog/category/nanowrimo/

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