Have you always wanted to write a book?
If you're ready to stop talking and start doing, then consider joining me for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Starting on November 1 (and not one minute before), thousands of adventurous writers everywhere will feverishly work to create a 50,000 or more word manuscript by midnight on November 30.
It requires discipline. It requires dedication. It requires lots of caffeine.
Last year I accomplished my goal of 50,000+ words. This year I'm shooting to do the same. If you sign up on the NaNoWriMo site (it's free, though donations are appreciated), you'll get encouraging emails. You can discuss your agonies or ecstasies with fellow writers on a variety of message boards. And if you're competitive like me, you'll get incentive to keep just a little bit ahead of everyone else's word count.
If you succeed, you'll win a fabulous prize!
Okay, not really. But what you will gain is the satisfaction of producing a (very) rough manuscript that you can later tweak and edit and polish until you have produced a suitable-for-publication, real book.
There's something quite empowering about succeeding at NaNo. And that's why I plan to have myself firmly planted in front of the computer working on novel #2 throughout the month of November. With a full time job, posts on Critter Alley will slow to a trickle, but I will keep you updated on my word count and progress. Alas, there won't be much blog visiting, but I'll be baaaaaack...in December.
If you plan to participate, the NaNo site has numerous tips for survival. I'll give you mine in a nutshell.
- Set a daily word goal and do your best to stick with it. Keep writing!
- A general plot outline helps, but go where your muse carries you. Keep writing!
- Let the words flow and don't worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Keep writing!
- Don't re-read what you've written...it's too tempting to edit. Keep writing!
- For now, turn OFF your internal editor. Keep writing!
NaNo is fast-paced, fun, inspiring, and I think you'll be amazed at what happens if you do it. Hey, it must be good, or why would I put myself through this again? I'm working now on my outline and characters, stocking the pantry, and thinking about plot lines. I'll be ready to write on November 1.
How about you?