Thursday, November 14, 2013

Right Now I'm Loving...

Right now I'm loving... National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is occurring all over the world, where normal, everyday people are taking the time to write a 50,000 word (200 page) novel in one month. That's 1667 words (almost seven double-spaced pages) a day for 30 days.

I've talked about NaNoWriMo before, because 1) I think it's awesome and 2) it's where I got my writing start.  Before NaNoWriMo I wrote the same three chapters of a book over and over for THREE YEARS, and never made any progress beyond that. The chapters were never perfect enough for me to feel like I could continue to go forward. So I would get frustrated and quit. 

Well, NaNoWriMo allows for none of that "get it perfect" crap. With NaNo, you write without going back and correcting or reading anything. It's difficult to silence that internal editor, but doing so allows you to get an entire first draft completed.

Was the first draft I completed in NaNoWriMo a bunch of junk? Oh, definitely yes. It required a couple of months of solid editing afterwards before I would even let one person read it. (Then more editing after that).

But getting that first draft finished was crucial. And NaNoWriMo was key for me.  I'm proud to say that PRIMAL INSTINCT was a NaNoWriMo novel (technically, a CampNaNoWriMo which is in July), and will be available in April 2014 (You can pre-order on Amazon here, supporting NaNo authors everywhere! Or, um, at least one in Virginia Beach...).

I'm not officially participating in National Novel Writing Month this year because I was already in the  middle of a book, (because, ahem, did I mention my FOUR-BOOK DEAL WITH HARLEQUIN INTRIGUE? -- oh, I did? Multiple times? My bad...) but I have lots of friends who are participating. I am going to some of the local "write-ins" where we write in groups for hours at a time -- and sometimes all night -- at local Starbucks or church halls or comic book stores or wherever will let us hang out there and be anti-social.

I found The Stages of National Novel Writing Month on Buzz Feed and loved it so much I couldn't resist sharing it because it's So. True. Stop by Buzz Feed for more of their hilarity. Without further ado:


National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. NaNoWriMo began in 1999 and the program includes real life and virtual gatherings of participants

You might be thinking

But 300,000 writers will attempt it this year


Maybe one of your friends

Someone you follow on Tumblr

Or the guy sitting next to you at Starbucks


But basically 300,000 people have the world’s biggest term paper due in 30 days, and it’s going to lead to some stress.


At the beginning they’ll be hopeful, calm, full of inspiration

They’ll quote authors about the power of the written word

Jot down ideas in one of their moleskine notebooks


But about halfway through the month, things will start to go downhill 

It might start as a confession on Facebook

Or the decision to skip a few days and relax


You don’t have to worry until they break out the exhaustion GIFs


Or start taking out their frustration on their desks


Sometimes all they’ll need is a little encouragement

Or a lot of encouragement 


You can distract them with something shiny

Or offer food


Around Thanksgiving exhaustion will become hopelessness


And frustration will morph into rage


Dole out head pats accordingly

Use your judgment about distance


There will be moments of calm leading up to the end

But November 30th will be a night of blind panic. Do not attempt to approach the writers


Don’t worry: On December 1st, NaNoWriMo writers will be back to normal, if just a little tired

And they’ll have 11 months to recover before next year's NaNoWriMo



  Hang in there my NaNoWriMo friends! You can do it!

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