Monday, November 1, 2010

It's NaNoWriMo Time

Hey all,

Yep! It's that time of the year.  NaNoWriMo time.  For those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, let me explain.  It is, and this is taken directly from their website...

~~~National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. ~~~

And what a month it can be.  Exasperating, irritating, painful.  Amazing, triumphant and satisfying.  All of those are emotions I've felt while participating in this project.  And for those new writers who are just trying things out to see if they have what it takes, its a perfect launch point.  They can get those ideas out on paper, and the quality of the manuscript isn't what is important.  It's the discipline of getting it done within the month long time frame.  It's more of an exercise, to help all writers get the job done.

Now, in all honesty, for me, NaNoWriMo isn't as much a challenge as it is a fun time to play.  I am one of those lucky authors who can, if given time, and especially if I'm in the groove, can easily write 50,000 words in less than a week. 

But having that time frame, even for a person like me, can at times be confining. I have other commitments.  Edits, book covers, promotions.  And then there is real life.  I have a husband, who even though he supports me a hundred percent, kinda enjoys having me around to love on.  *grin*  So I have to balance writing time and quality personal time with my sweet baboo.
And then there is the other stuff that pops up.  Groceries, cooking, cleaning, building a home...all of that is just as important so, it too, has to be balanced.  On an average week, I wind up getting to write for only four days, and out of those four days, I push to write about six hours.  So if you do the math, if I keep my balance, (see me teetering already?) I have to produce 3,125 words a day or 520 words an hour to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge.

So can I do it??? 

Well, I have, for the last four years, though at times it has been tough.  Last year especially, because I was working full time, plus getting ready to move to Singapore.  But even with all of that going on, I managed to not only triumph, but the novel, was submitted, bought and will be published this coming January 2011.

For me, NaNoWriMo isn't as much a writing challenge as it may be for other authors, but a way to get myself back on track.  To re-look at my priorities and readjust my schedule to make the most of the time I have.  I don't throw myself into NaNoWriMo as I did the first year, spending twenty hours a day on it.  Instead, I use it as a tool, to polish and refine my skills.  It's your NaNoWriMo.  Use it the best way it helps you.

In my opinion, this writing challenge can be for both newbie authors who are just flexing their fingers, and for we seasoned ones who might have dozens of books under our belts.  Do you need to do this to be a "real author"?  Of course not.  But a smart person uses all the tools available to them.  And if joining in a challenge will help you discipline, streamline and improve your writing, why not give it a shot?

You writers out there, both established and just starting out, I challenge you to join up and try your hand at NaNoWriMo.  If nothing else, you'll get that novel you've been thinking about started, plus you'll meet some really great people as you buddy up with other writers and chat about how you're doing.

If you'd like to buddy up with me, I'd love to have you.  I enjoy chatting with my NaNoWriMo buddies and if I can encourage and help a new author, I'm happy to do so.  My NaNoWriMo addy is, so you can check me out and see what I'm doing this year.

And, if you'd like to know more about NaNoWriMo, their main website is...  There are articles, forums, videos and pep talks, as well as banners and icons to display and dozens of other helps to get you started.  The organization raises money for young authors to help them get started, and in my opinion does a great job in encouraging all writers to be all they can be.

So, the fun starts today, and I hope you all will check me out.  Come on over and see the story I'll be working on.  Leave me a message of encouragement.  Sign up yourself.  It's a brave new world over at NaNoWriMo.

Will YOU be a part of it???

I'll be back on Wednesday with a fun post about the differences between men and women!

Hugs and Happy Writing,

CJ England  

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