Many years ago I taught a night class at BYU (320R Creative Writing). It seems every time I teach that class I find someone who will publish. This time was no exception. One of the writers who rose to the top was Melissa. She and I have stayed friends over the last few years. Every once in a while I have a chance to read her work which is VERY creative, very good. She is also an artist and a web designer. Read below to see what she has to say about NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – is a month-long writing marathon of insanity. 50,000 words in only thirty days; any genre, any age group. It’s every November and sign ups just began for 2010. Are you going to join in?
If you said heck yes, you get a hearty fist bump from me. Nice work!
If you said no or looked confused, be prepared for my utter disappointment. Poor non-believer; what will we do with you? Oh right; educate.
Why You Should NaNoWriMo
Deadlines are powerful things. With only a month to write your novel, you’ve got to get 1,667 words written per day. There’s no time for an inner-editor, you’ve just got to write, write, and write some more. This is the perfect chance to throw up words. It’s fun. You have my permission to write an awful first draft with all of the -ly words you want. Once you’ve stopped overthinking it, you’ll be surprised at the amazing things that just come out of nowhere. Reading back months later, my best writing was during the writing group word battles where I didn’t have time to think at all.
How To Survive
Convinced? Good. Here are a few of my favorite tips to get you started:
– Look here (http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/%252Fog ) for a local chapter near you – many offer write-ins, support groups, challenges, etc. to keep you on track. A fine example is the one led by Mathew Walker, the ever-fantastic liaison for Springville, UT.
– Get other writers involved! I finished NaNo by holding weekly six-hour long write-a-thons with my writing group. Peer pressure and support FTW.
– Make a music playlist for your novel. Keep it on repeat as you write.
– Have a reward waiting. For the last two years, NaNoWriMo has partnered with CreateSpace to offer a free proof of your novel if you win. I got confirmation that they’re doing it again this year. Sure, it’s just a vanity press item, but it’s still pretty cool.
Anyone who knows me can attest that I’m a rabid supporter of NaNoWriMo. Why? It gets books written. A lot of people say they want to write a novel but can’t find the time. Truth is, they don’t make the time. “Someday” never comes, which means that the novel is never written. Why not now?
As Walt Disney said, “The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Last year, there were 167,150 people who signed up for NaNoWrimo; 32,178 of them won. Are you going to be one of them?
How To NaNo It Up
– Head over to http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and click the ‘sign up now’ button. It’s free, and they won’t kill you if you don’t win.
– Just remember that you can’t start until November 1st. You’re allowed to write novel notes and outlines, but no actual prose until then.
– Make sure to comment here with your username so we can be NaNo buddies!
Here are the two books Melissa finished!
Now here’s a link to John Green (An Abundance of Katherines, Finding Alaska, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson) talking about NaNoWriMo. I think you’ll enjoy this, too.