Peer Pressure and a Looming Deadline

It takes a hell of a lot of motivation to pump out a novel. And sometimes, scratch that, most times life can and does get in the way. If you’re serious about writing something that is at least 50,000 words and probably around 75,000 or even 100,000 words, you find little nooks and crannies of time to work on it: waking up early, going to bed late, a few hours on the weekends, maybe even taking some vacation time from work. Maybe you use the carrot and stick approach – you’ll let yourself eat a bowl of ice cream, but only after you bang out 5 pages for the day.

But I’m here to tell you that there’s another approach to a writer’s motivation. Peer pressure and a looming deadline. But how does that work, you ask? Writing is a solitary profession. Enter the writing/critique group and NaNoWriMo.

Now I haven’t been a huge participant in writing groups. Ok, I’ve never even been to one. But this past year, I attended the DFW Writer’s Conference and it resonated with me. A bunch of us knuckleheaded masochists gathered together to talk shop and learn how ebooks are going to tear down the ancient walls of the publishing world. But I also networked. I also built some pretty solid relationships. As writers, we need each other. As sounding boards. As critics. As friends of the pen. Critique groups not only provide much-needed critique of your work, which you may be looking at through rose-colored, or gin-soaked, glasses, they also make you write. If you know you’re meeting on Wednesday night, by gum, you better have pages to show by then.

And that brings me to my little advertisement for the ultimate event of peer pressure for writers: NaNoWriMo. Perhaps the best way to describe National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is from the description on A Real Bookstore’s website. Incidentally, I’ll be hosting free workshops in August, September and October to get area writers ready for NaNoWriMo. Ain’t that a funny coincidence? 

“Every November, aspiring authors around the country participate in a marathon writing event: 50,000 words in 30 days. Yup, you heard right.  is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing and the goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page, or a little less than 6 pages a day) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down. As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.”

Peer pressure and a looming deadline. It could just make the difference between you, The Author and you, the writer.


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose latest, award-winning suspense thriller, The Brink, is now available as an eBook for Kindle and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“Mark Fadden is the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at

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