November is NaNoWriMo

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo, then you are where I was until a few years ago. It is National Novel Writing Month. Every November since about 1999, participants have engaged in writing abandon by writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. At first, I thought that was impossible, but learned it can indeed be done.

This November 2010 I’m signed up and ready to go on a sequel to Shelter from the Storm. I’ll also be facilitating a Basic Novel Writing class during November on Tuesday evenings where I live in Amarillo, Texas. The class is at the East Branch Library on 26th near Sam’s Club on Ross-Osage. We start this coming Tuesday at 6:30 for an hour and a half of writing fun.

You can sign up to participate in NaNoWriMo from home or where ever you are. Sign up at NaNoWriMo. Even if you only get part way through and don’t finish within the 30 days, it is an exciting experience and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish and how your way of looking at writing can change. Most of all have fun.

Here’s a few words from the staff at NaNoWriMo:

When you registered for your account, you had the opportunity to affiliate with a NaNoWriMo region. You can affiliate with more than one NaNoWriMo region, and choose one region to make your Home Region. Many towns have Municipal Liaisons (MLs) to organize NaNo write-ins and get-togethers in October and November, and affiliating with a region will automatically add you to the regional email list for updates about local events. Every region has a special message board called a Regional Lounge that becomes visible to affiliates of that region on the Forums page.

To affiliate with any region, just sign in to the site and click the My Regions link in the left-hand menu on your profile page. When you click that, you’ll see three tabs. The Regions tab lets you affiliate with any of NaNoWriMo regions around the world. Once you’ve affiliated with the region (or regions—you can pick a bunch if you like), you should pick one of them to be your Home Region on that beautiful Home Region tab.”

Before you head off to begin training those typing fingers, we wanted to offer a few bits of advice. You’ll find many great tips in the forums, and we’ll be sending pep talks directly to your inbox during November. But for now, here’s a quick overview of the three-and-a-half things we wish we had known for our first NaNoWriMo.

1) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do so. But it’s also fine to just wing it. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.

2) Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.

3) Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month. Seriously. Email them now about your awesome new book. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.

3.5) There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel.

And we’re talking the good kind of yodeling here.

A final word before you head off! NaNoWriMo is a grassroots nonprofit, funded almost entirely by participant donations. If you get something out of NaNoWriMo, we ask that you come by our secure online Donation Station and Store and make a small donation to help keep the program going strong. Even $10 makes a world of difference!

With great well wishes on the noveling month ahead,

The NaNoWriMo Team

Upcoming Workshop

Learn how to craft your story, characters and your novel with author Dianne Sagan. Get involved in one of the nation’s great celebrations of the written word, National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month

Writing Groups

Tuesdays in November

6:30 pm

East Branch Library

2232 E 27th

To Reserve Your Spot Call

Jenna Hodges at (806) 376-7021 or

CyndieWynia at (806) 342-1589.







Meet Debra Eckerling

I am delighted to have Debra Eckerling with me today. You are quit a busy lady. How long you’ve been writing?

Thanks for having me, Dianne.  I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood. I believe that people don’t choose to be writers. Writing chooses you.

You are the founder of Write On!  Tell us about it.

Write On! Is a virtual writers support group for writers of all abilities, mediums, and specialties where they can take their project to the next level. The community also has a Facebook page where participants can post goals and share information with each other.

That sounds like a great place for all of us writers to be a part of.

The website also has Author Q&As a couple of times a week, Writing Contests, Expert Columns, and a monthly drawing for a Free iScript just for posting your goals.

You also do coaching and conduct workshops. How did you get started?

I’ve spent about 10 years getting writer’s groups started and doing workshops. I was a Community Events Coordinator at Barnes & Noble and a Production Editor at Publications International, Ltd. Our groups began meeting at B&N, and after 8 1/2 years in Santa Monica, CA, we now meet online on Blog Talk Radio. We have a great group of people—all ages, all specialties, all genres, and all levels of experience—with a lot of wonderful energy.

Our Next Meeting:
Wednesday, October 13, 8 pm PDT/11 pm EDT
Blog Talk Radio

I’d love to see you all there.

What is the October challenge on your website?

The October Write On! Challenge is a Tweeting Contest: Describe your blog in 140 characters or less. OnTwitter it is essential to get the most information out in the least amount of words. This challenge will help you hone that skill.

Thanks for dropping by today, Deb, How can we find out more about you and what writers can do to get more involved in Write On!

My links are:

Continue your October travels with VBT – Writers on the Move and visit tomorrow, October 6th, with Mari Taylor at Elizabeth Elderling’s blog