NANO You, NANO Me, 1 Month in Counting!

In just a few short weeks it will be the start of National Novel Writing Month (NANO).  Are you ready? I’m there.  I am going to finish my 1st draft this year, this November; the gauntlet is thrown (hopefully it won’t boomerang back at my head!).  This is my first go at NANO and I’m totally pumped.

Many people say that they want to write, but really the satisfaction is to those who finish.  You may have heard of the novel made into a movie, ‘Water for Elephants’ by Sara Gruen – yep NANO.

Alrighty then, what do you need to do, to get your writing on?  And why am I already talking about this in October? Well, for me, I’m getting my butt in gear to mentally prep and plot.  My goal is butt in chair, write and finish this stinking 1st draft that haunts me – recent deadline passed, argh!  I might write before the actual start, hooray me if I get a little ahead, as that doesn’t happen too often.

NANO (www.nanowrimo.org) starts November 1-30 and the challenge is to write your novel and/or complete 50,000 words.  The best part it’s free!  You create an account and connect with a community of like-minded individuals who are working on their stories that have been in progress or those first timers who are taking a dip in the pool to flex their writing muscles.  It’s a great opportunity to meet others and connect.

It’s a built-in deadline and contest for all ages globally, with the prize of self-satisfaction of completing your novel.  It started in 1999 and last year there where over 340,000 participants and over 38,000 winners (i.e., completing the word count goal)! Lots of success to be found, many of these novels found publishers and have been self-published.

Comment below – Will you be joining NANO this year? Have you participated in NANO before, if so what’s your experience? Will you complete your writing goals this year?  I sure hope so, I love to read and it would be a shame not to have your story out there because you didn’t finish it.

In the words of Wayne Gretzky “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

If you enjoyed this blog, please like and share below! Walk the talk, or write as it were.  I’ll see you at NANO 🙂

YOU BLOCK HEAD and other writer myths

Lucy pulls back the football
Lucy pulls back the football (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

Writers block.  It’s the sweaty palms of a teenage boy approaching a girl to ask her out on a date.  It’s the panic of the cursor just steadily blinking at you. It’s the knotted stomach of insecurity telling you to do something – anything.

All you really need is a swift kick in the pants.  It’s like Lucy pulling the football away from good ol’ Charlie Brown.  Lucy does this every-time, why would Charlie think it was going to be different? It’s the same with writing.

I curse those writers who say, oh I just sat down and started typing and wa’la a novel is done and dusted.  Calling it out – bullsh*t.  I have tried that and quickly learned that was me just gearing up for the fun ahead.  Its a part of any process – BRAINSTORM.  Write to your hearts content and write some more.  Let the pen, the keyboard take you in unchartered waters.  However, the end never really happens until you stop and plot the course.

Writers block is only a symptom of not following a system from conception – design (plotting) – research – composition.  When you don’t stop to plan once you get that fantastic idea going this leaves a writer trying to do at least four of these things all at the same time – in their head.  That’s like trying to build a car while driving it.  This would ‘block’ anyone about anything.  Then there’s the obvious point with the car, you won’t be able to get from point A to point B if your still building the car.

How do I know this? Been there done that.  Ah, heck I still do this from time to time.  What’s important is recognizing what your doing then getting onto what you “need” to do.  So don’t be a BLOCK HEAD and think your stuck, step back and start your design and stop the free writing for a minute.  Throw something at the wall, see if it sticks then let that artist in you prep the room for the makeover and build a story.

Anyone having a block head moment? What’s your plan to get out of it? Share/Comment – Looking forward to the discussion.