Tag Archives: writing habits

NaNoWriMo: Week 1 Pep Talk – There Is No Wrong Way to NaNo

nanowrimo2017shirtNovember is National Novel Writing Month, an international phenomenon during which authors (or budding authors) challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word first draft of a novel.  Participants can create an account on www.nanowrimo.org  and register their novel, friend other writing “buddies” and receive regular writing pep talks from best-selling authors such as Gene Luen Yang, Charlaine Harris, Diana Gabaldon, John Green and many others.  Writing happens off-site, either by typing into a word document or crafting with good old pencil and paper, but participants are encouraged to log their daily word count of 1667 words and join in online forums for support to help them stay on track to reach their word count goal. 

A few years ago my family attended a group event at church.  We’d all gone apple picking together, and then had met up at the church to make as many pies as we had supplies, and the pies were then donated to the local food pantry for Thanksgiving dinners.  I was showing my kids how to do this – peel the apples, slice them this thin, put them in this bowl – when I looked up at my friend working next to me.  She hadn’t peeled her apples, and she was chopping them into large pieces. 

Well that’s wrong, I thought.  To be honest, I might have even said it out loud.  And then I looked down the long table where several of us were working, and saw that – darn it – everyone was making pie differently than I was.  And none of them were wrong.

NaNoWriMo is like that. There’s really no wrong way to do it. Whether you’re a pantser (writing by inspiration or “by the seat of your pants”), a plotter (plotting the entire story before writing one word of novel) or somewhere in between, as long as you’re putting words on paper, you’re adding toward the total 50,000 words of your novel. No editing, no rewriting, no critique partners. Just get that story out and on paper – you can edit and rewrite in December or January (the “What’s Next” months post Nano). NaNoWriMo is a great excuse to give yourself permission to “finally” write that story that’s been percolating while you’ve been busy adulting – attending classes, raising kids or working a 9-5 job. For thirty days, tap into your creative side and just…Play.

Ok, ok – believe me, I’ve heard all the excuses, and mostly, from my own mouth. Or more accurately, my own mind-mouth

–I don’t have time. You do. In fact, you have more time that you think, if you cut out social media and mindless TV

–I don’t have any ideas. You do. Probably a notebook full of random things you’ve jotted down. Or pick a headline from a news story. Or write about that relative.

–I don’t have any support.  Actually you’ve got that, too, if you check out the online forums. Tell your family, roommates and work colleagues that you’re going to try this NaNo thing, and yeah, that might mean fewer nights hanging out, but only for 30 days, at the end of which you’ll have a good chunk of a first draft of a novel. Believe me, you’ll find your tribe, get support and have fun.  I guarantee that you won’t regret it. 

So join us – The world needs your novel!

 

This post was originally sent as a NaNoWriMo Week 1 Pep Talk to the USA: New Hampshire Region and published on the NH Writers Project Blog on November 1. 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Writing Prompt Wednesday: Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

stephen-king

Leave a comment

September 21, 2016 · 7:47 am

Friday Fun: Sportsing

no-football

Leave a comment

September 16, 2016 · 5:00 am

Writing Prompt Wednesday: Read or Really Happened?

read or reality

For me, it’ wondering if I ever actually rode a unicycle.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A to Z Blogging Challenge: W, Writing

One of my favorite books on story structure is Your Book Starts Here by Mary Carroll Moore. I was fortunate to attend one of her writing workshops a few years back at NH Writer’s Day and it was amazing. Many of us have little trouble with story beginnings and endings, but when it comes to the middle…!  It’s a challenge to keep the tension in a story strong enough so the reader will want to continue to turn the pages.

I’ll let Mary explain some helpful tips in this storyboard video.

 

During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on writing topics while systematically moving through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers.  Join us!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A to Z Blogging Challenge: M, Mood

Yeah, this is pretty true for me…what about you?

writers mood rings

 

During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on writing topics while systematically moving through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers.  Join us!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A to Z Blogging Challenge: J, Journal

artistsway

Earlier this week, we went up to Concord to see David Sedaris.  I’ve blogged about that under “S”, which will be coming up eventually, but since today is “J” I’m going to hold off on my Sedaris comments.  It was a wonderful show, and he spent a portion of it reading bits of writing from a diary.  Sedaris said that he’s kept a diary for 40 years and quite honestly I felt kind of convicted when he said that, since I stopped keeping a journal years ago.

Most of my journals had tended to be a place to vent free-form, and I never re-read them.  In recent years, I haven’t used journals as a place to collect or develop story ideas, and yet, I remember when our older three kids were very young, I went through a time of non-creativity, just too mentally exhausted after caring for the kids to collect my thoughts about anything.  At that time, a friend recommended Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which really unlocked a piece of me that I apparently had buried under everything else.  Sedaris’s words reminded me that any recent journal I’ve kept has been mostly to record macro-nutrients, calories burned, or miles walked, and any frustration related to my success or failure. Diaries consist of daily calendars filled with To Do lists that never quite get crossed off.  I was struck that Sedaris’s diary entries were just observations, and how I could imagine these smaller pieces being developed into something longer.

I think it’s probably time to crack open The Artist’s Way again and try to unlock some creativity that’s possibly getting buried under a busy –  though very good – life and find my way back to journaling again.

 

During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on writing topics while systematically moving through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers.  Join us!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized