You’ve Got One More Day of NaNoWriMo to Convince Yourself That You’re a Real “Author”

Many people were so focused on the “writing” part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that they missed out on the true meaning of the annual literary event: pretending to be a professional author. It’s not too late to convince us all you’re legit–there’s one more day of November, so make it count.

Call yourself an author

Go ahead and call yourself an author right now. You will instantly feel a sense of peace and accomplishment just by knowing that you are now part of an elite group of artists. Change your job title to “author” on LinkedIn. Add author to your Yahoo email account signature. When meeting new people today, insist on mentioning that you’re an author…whether they ask what you do or not.

Treat yourself

Now that you are a legitimate author for the last fleeting hours of the month, you need to buy everything that a real author needs: the fanciest computer, writing software, an expensive pen (even though you aren’t writing longhand), a jacket with leather patches on the elbows, maybe even a sassy coffee mug that declares “Genius at Work” across the side. You deserve the best. so spare no expense. You’ll make that money back in no time once your book is published. You know, the one you’re going to get done by tonight, because things in November got sooooo crazy.

Talk about your book

Talking about your book is more important than actually writing it. Plus, writing is a boring and thankless task that must be completed alone. If you don’t talk about it, then how will people know how much you have sacrificed for your art? Talk to your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, the grocery store check-out person, people you meet on the bus and, most importantly, everyone on the internet. Start all of your statements, regardless of the topic, with, “This reminds me of something that will happen in my book.”

Fire up your author platform

A pen name will protect your privacy for the hordes of fans you will undoubtedly soon have, so choose wisely. “Delores Pussywallow” or “Helmut Longfellow” have a nice ring to them. Make sure to dedicate a chunk of today reserving your moniker on all relevant social media accounts, including both your Facebook profile and fan page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, Google+, Reddit, WhatsApp and YouTube. Grab them up now before jealous peers try to steal them out from under you. Start sharing images that you are using to create your book’s mood board; film videos about your struggle to create; debate whether your website personal branding is a retro black/white/pink or an edgy red/black/grey. Share your “Modern Literature for the Informed Intellectual” tagline.

Join a writing community

Now that your author persona has been painstakingly curated, take this opportunity to join every secret Facebook group and internet writing forum that exists. It doesn’t matter that your first book isn’t done. Or even started. This is a great way to learn the few things you don’t already know. Important things, like who is the best agent? And how do I contact them? Do I really need an editor if I am a really, really good writer? What kind of royalties and advances should I expect for my genre-breaking romance/ mystery / space opera/ alternate history novel? Ignore the haters who suggest “working” on your “craft” or that writing is a “long, hard” “career.” Not everyone is naturally gifted like you.

Don’t get discouraged

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete your book during the last six minutes of NaNoWriMo, There’s always next November 30th.

Originally published at Second City Network Nov. 29, 2016 http://www.secondcity.com/one-more-day-of-nanowrimo