Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo Begins Today!

By Robin Kaye



Actually, since this blog is posting November 2nd, it began yesterday but it’s not too late to join in the fun.

NaNoWriMo is for all of you who have said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Here is the perfect opportunity to cross off another item on your bucket list! Go right to NaNoWriMo.org and enter.

NaNoWriMo is easy. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. I know it sounds daunting but it’s very achievable. The trick is to turn off your internal editor and just write. It’s amazing what happens when you do just that. Sure, you’ll write a lot of crap, but once you get into the groove, you’ll find diamonds among the less than sparkling words.

Let’s face it, so many people say they want to write but in my humble opinion, they over think it. Sometimes you just have to sit down and do it. You can think a book to death, but unless you actually write it, it will never come to fruition. Write the book of your heart. There will be plenty of time in the future to do rewrites and edit your work, but you can’t tweak a book that’s not written or as my buddy, Nora Roberts says, “I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.”

Every week or so you’ll receive an inspirational email from a famous, or not so famous author, whose words will encourage you to keep going. You’ll find yourself racing toward the finish line with the buddies you’ve made along the way. People in your region will have write-ins where you can meet up at a Starbucks, the library, or other public place. Bring your notebook or notebook computer, and write for a few hours. There are forums or message boards for you to post questions, answers, or talk about what music you listen to while you write. But let me caution you, the message boards are so much fun, they can draw you in and before you know it take up all your time.

NaNoWriMo has an amazing program for young writers, which provides a month-long writing experience for kids and teens. It has been known to improve self-esteem, teach perseverance, and give them a new appreciation for writing and literature. When you think about it, that is exactly what it gives to adults who participate.

It costs nothing to join NaNoWriMo, but they are always looking for donations to keep the website going and help pay for the Young Writers Program. It’s easy to donate and they also have a store where you can buy great coffee mugs, Chris Baty’s Book, No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, tee-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, badges, buttons and patches.

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo for three years now and it’s changed my life. It gives me a shot in the arm even when I’m in the middle of a stressful deadline, like now for instance. I have another 50,000 words to write for the 4th book in my Domestic Gods series and I’m going to write them during NaNoWriMo with my writing buddies from all over the world. I hope you’ll join me.

11 comments:

  1. I've signed up for the 1st time, tried getting in, can't apparently remember my password, tried having it sent to me, nothing ever comes through to my email,...so I'll do what I always do...just write using my own goal setting process. And in that spirit, I wrote 4,000 words yesterday on Plight of the Wolf. :) And I have 50,000 words to go! :)Whether you use Nanowrimo or some other technique, goal setting is so important!!!

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  2. Good luck to you, Robin. This is soooo not my thing.
    :-)

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  3. I'm off to a decent start - I wrote 1400 words yesterday - but what I really like about NaNoWriMo is the fellowship it creates between writers. I'm really looking forward to a DC NaNo kick-off write-in today after work.

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  4. I'll be in the cheering section. Publicly having to commit gives me the hives. I've got enough pressure on myself with my own deadlines. But I'll cheer those on who do it!

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  5. Terry~ You could sign up again, a different name and password and move on from there. If you decide to, please let me know.

    Marie~ To each her own, sister. Thanks for rooting for me.

    Gail~ Fabulous start! I think I only wrote something like 320 words, of course that's not counting all the rewriting I did. First sex scenes can be difficult, especially in a house full of kids and construction. Stephen was ripping out the dining room windows and drilling through the walls for the larger windows which will replace them. Now I'm living with a sheet of Visqueen Plastic draped across the dinning room. What fun!

    Judi~ I wouldn't want to see you with hives on top of the flu. Feel better, sweetie.

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  6. Oh, wow! I am so impressed, Robin! I think it's fabulous this works for you, and I would LOVE to write 50,000 words in one month! But alas, it's not for me. I'm like Judi, I'd be covered in hives! Good luck!
    Amelia

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  7. I've signed up for NaNo hoping I can get 50,000k on two stories, yeah I said two.

    Good luck to everyone who is crazy enough to run this race.

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  8. I think that would be great training for a writer, but right now, I don't need that kind of pressure! Good luck to you!

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  9. Renee~

    Congratulations, that's quite a goal! Please put me on your buddy list.

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  10. Amelia and Cheryl~

    Thanks for the support. It's great fun.

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  11. I'm all for being disciplined. Not that I do a very good job of it when it comes to my writing! LOL! But I think this sort of goal setting is great. But, like Marie, it just isn't for me. I can't force myself into that kind of a box. And if I did set rigid word count goals for myself I would be a basket case when unable to maintain the standard. That would be very counter productive!

    Best of luck, Robin and Terry and anyone else who joins in. I really am routing for you.

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