Books·Writing Tip

Participating in NaNoWriMo? Esi Edugyan advises to make time to write

If you're participating in National Novel Writing Month, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner, Esi Edugyan, says you shouldn't wait for inspiration to strike.
Esi Edugyan is pictured after winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her book Washington Black. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The annual event, which started in 1999, challenges people to write a novel that is 50,000 words in length in 30 days. 

We asked two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan for her best advice and here's what she had to say: 

"Keep strict hours with your writing. Make the commitment to be at your desk every day, especially when you least feel like it. You will write very little if you wait for inspiration to strike."

Esi Edugyan is the author of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning Washington Black. Washington Black was a finalist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and the 2018 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. The Calgary-born writer is also the author of 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning Half-Blood Blues. The novel was also a Canada Reads contender in 2014, when it was defended by Donovan Bailey. Half-Blood Blues was also a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize. Edugyan is judging the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize.