Elizabeth Haynes takes part in NaNoWriMo each year – in fact her New York Times bestselling novel Into the Darkest Corner was originally written as part of NaNoWriMo – so she shares her insider knowledge with novelist David Barnett for the Guardian.
“Every year without fail I see something, a tweet, a blog, an article in a national newspaper, the gist of which seems to be, ‘Oh no, not November again. All those people thinking they can write. All of those manuscripts flooding agents’ offices! Please just don’t!’” she says. “It isn’t a competition. The world needs more novels, more readers, more writers. You want to be heard? Ignore everyone else. Work hard.”
Haynes had no intention to publish her first NaNoWriMo effort: “It was purely for fun. Publishing had always felt like something that happened to others, not me. I had three goes at NaNoWriMo before I had something with a beginning, a middle and an end. That was the first time I had something I thought I could actually edit.”