We’re about half-way through National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, and every year there are more and more participants and more and more hype until you can’t seem to escape people talking about NaNoWriMo. At least, not if you’re a writer.
Personally, I don’t participate. Never have, and, to be frank, probably never will.
How do you want to be remembered as a writer? When I think of some of the great literary classics, I think “timeless.” A great work of fiction should speak to anyone from any time. It should explore the human condition and concepts that should resonate throughout the ages. Love, hate, jealousy, revenge, intrigue, mystery, adventure, humor, satire, life, death, etc. People have been using writing and fiction to explore these themes since writing was invented. They’re timeless.
You know what wrecks a piece of fiction and ruins its ability to be timeless? Dated references! Mentioning a current popular song, or musician, hairstyle, fashion, buzzword, the latest movie, the freshest meme. Things that have not yet proven the test of time DO NOT BELONG IN FICTION!
One piece of advice directed towards aspiring writers that drives me nuts is; “write every day.” If you’re a writer who follows other writers, you can’t escape Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest without seeing those lovely inspirational quotes and memes that are constantly touting this same sentiment over and over again. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but this is why I think “write every day” is bullshit.