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    Everything old is new again – or digging through my NaNoWriMo archives

    10/7/2014

    New Release Book Shelf in Book StoreSo it’s October now which means NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is a matter of weeks away.

    If you don’t know what National Novel Writing Month is a simple explanation is that people around the world commit to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

    Here is the post I did last November which outlines my tips for surviving the month.
    http://www.moniquemcdonellauthor.com/blog/preparing-for-nanowrimo-the-2014-edition

    In 2012 I did a series of blog posts helping you to prepare for NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t read them they cover topics such as like plotting, meal preparation, eliminating distractions and even exercise.

    They were:
    Part 1 – Plan Your Writing
    Part 2 – Plan Your Life for NaNoWriMo
    Part 3 – Plan the month of Writing – or tips to
    succeed.
    Part 4 – Plan to Care for your Body ( A Guest post from physiotherapist & author Terri Green)

    I don’t think I have a whole lot new to say on the topic.

    Here are some reasons I love NaNoWriMo.
    1. Writing is a pretty solitary activity – by participating in this event that writers from all over the globe you feel less alone. It gives you a sense of belonging. In fact your city or town probably has write-ins, drinks and other get together’s for people participating so you can even meet people in real life. (Imagine!)

    2. It’s a really good way to bash out a first draft. You’d be surprised how many books on the shelves have been written this way. No one expects a perfect manuscript at the end of the month but an imperfect one gives you something to work with that is far more welcoming than a blank page.

    3. If you are already a writer NaNoWriMo shows you just how much time you squander in a normal month. That half hour you usually describe as “not enough time to write” has a new value. It reminds you that if you use your time wisely you can get more writing done.

    4. Participating also shows you that lots of your regular reasons for not writing are just excuses – I don’t have space (all of a sudden you’re writing on the train or at the beach) or time or you’re blocked (You just write on through that during NaNoWriMo).

    5. It can bolster your spirits. Some years are better than others. Sometimes November hits and you’re left asking yourself “What the heck did I achieve this year?” If you complete NaNoWriMo you can say “Hey I wrote a novel this year.” Lots of people say they will write a novel one day.

    Maybe this November is your one day.

     

    Comments

    Sarah
    10/6/2014 10:10:38 pm

    I participated last year for the first time and found the challenge much harder to accomplish than I thought I would…that said, I’m likely doing it again next month…it’s rewarding, and the social aspect of group writing through word sprints is highly motivating. Few events support the “I can do that” motto quite like NaNo.
    Reply
    Monique
    10/26/2014 07:32:52 am

    I agree Sarah. I think it takes away a lot of that feeling of isolation we get as writers and it makes you feel like you have people cheering you on.

    Jackie Bouchard
    10/8/2014 12:47:32 am

    Great post! I’m undecided for this year… if I can get some pre-work done then I think I’ll go for it. I did NANO once before a few years back – that messy off-on-many-tangents draft eventually became my 2nd novel “Rescue Me, Maybe”, so would like to do it this time and get a jump on novel #4!
    Reply
    Monique
    10/26/2014 07:34:24 am

    I hope you manage to do it Jackie. A messy first draft is always easier to work with than no draft at all. That’s how I look at it. I have a couple of NaNo novels that were not redeemable but others the flow was right and they’ve been published after much revision.

    Anne R. Allen
    10/26/2014 03:31:08 am

    Great tips and links, Monique. I’ve linked to it on my blog today!
    Reply
    Monique
    10/26/2014 07:34:49 am

    Thanks Anne 🙂

    Sandie
    10/29/2014 10:39:37 pm

    I’ve not done NaNo, but I do like your reasons 3 and 4. I’m excellent at making excuses. Good luck this year. Sandie (also on the Northern Beaches)
    Reply
    Monique
    10/30/2014 09:07:00 am

    Hey Sandie
    I think NaNo is a great way to shake off the bad habits and excuses and sometimes establish some new ones. I also like the write-ins with other authors. Berkelouw Dee Why would be an excellent spot for one (On the northern beaches).

    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    10/29/2014 11:53:28 pm

    I am so ready for NaNoWriMo this year. I can’t wait! Only problem – I’m moving my family of six into a new house on November 6th. Hhmm… think packing and unpacking a house will put a wrench in my plans? 🙂

    Thanks for these great links and tips. And thanks for linking this to the October Hump Day Blog Hop on my book blog. Perfect timing – as NaNoWriMo starts this Saturday. So exciting!
    Reply
    Monique
    10/30/2014 09:08:25 am

    I’m excited too…I usually have a bit more plot thought out than this time it will be fine.
    I think moving house is definitely going to make it harder…you may wish to escape into your writing to avoid the mayhem!! Thanks for having me on the Hump Day Blog Hop.

    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    10/30/2014 09:31:10 am

    I always look forward to your links on the hop. I greatly appreciate your participation each month. Wonder how our November will go? Wishing you a productive NaNoWriMo, my friend!
    Monique
    10/30/2014 09:44:53 am

    Thanks Julie…I suspect our November posts will be a blend of angst and enthusiasm.