Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them.

That’s Dave Eggers, and he’s right. Tearing down someone else’s work is not helpful or progressive or creative. It’s certainly nothing to be proud of… which is maybe why I’ve been so remorseful about my mean Ruby Sparks post.

Today, I was supposed to recalibrate my goals. In doing so, I was reminded that the start of November is also the start of National Novel Writing Month, during which participants write 50,000 words in 30 days. I may not be able to vote in the national election (my absentee ballot still has not arrived), but I can join my fellow Americans for NaNoWriMo.

I wrote 1700 words today, and I hope I can keep this up for the rest of the month. Quality is not the issue – it’s all about getting words on the page. Still, maybe by the time December rolls around, I’ll have a lot more empathy for writers of fiction (and screenplays).