Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Heeeeeere

NaNoWriMo began today.  Once again, I'm smack in the middle of a deadline, and although one would think that's the perfect time to write, write, write, for me and the next couple of weeks, it's edit, edit, polish.  And a little synopsis writing.

I've never had the opportunity to participate in what I consider a wonderful opportunity for adventure in the writing world.  This is not to say that I've never used the process.  In fact, I did it earlier this year.  While waiting for a thumbs up or down on a proposal for two books for Harlequin American Romance, I pulled out an old partial that had been rejected years ago by Silhouette Romance and decided to finish it.  I did, in 23 days, with a total of 45,791 words.  205 pages.  Finished with the rough draft of that, and still waiting for word on that proposal, I turned around and did it again, with another old partial, rewriting the beginning and finishing it in a month and a half.  After two days of rest and making sure the plot for the first of two contracted books (the ones I'd been waiting to hear about), I jumped back in and hit the keyboard.  The month of July netted me 50,046 words/244 pages.  Yes, 50,000 can be written in one month!  I did it, and even I was impressed that I could.

What's so great about NaNo?  

  • If you know anything about it, if even only aware that it happens each year from November 1st through November 30, you can prepare for it.  If you're not a part of it this year, you can begin planning for next year.  Start getting your head in the game for 2014.  A year goes fast.
  • Having a goal.  Nothing works better than that.  Yes, I've coaxed and cajoled, enticed and almost threatened that setting goals is the key to being a writer--even for someone like me who isn't at all goal oriented.  The Queen of Procrastination never is.
  • It's been said that a habit can be made or broken in 21 days.  Sit down and make yourself write for 30 days, and it becomes a part of you.  You've made it a habit.  That's how books get written.
  •  There's a community of writers among the NaNo'ers each year.  People who will guide you, encourage you, and help you when needed to make that goal.  People who may become good friends.
  • If you make that 50,000 word goal, you'll be patting yourself on the back for a job well-done.  Okay, you might even start jumping and hollering, too.  If you don't make it, a pat on the back is also in order for trying.  Because if we don't try, we never move forward.  And isn't that what it's all about?
  • You might have a finished book on your hands when it's over.  And just how great can that feel?
  • The friendships of other writers.  And that's the biggie.
I've been incredibly lucky since I first decided to write.  After playing around with the idea for many months--not counting all those years I tinkered with it, now and then--I found a chatroom community of romance writers and made some of the best friends I have, both inside and outside of writing.  We're not only writing friends, we're real friends.  Lasting friends.  Always there for each other in every way possible.  As crazy as it may sound, all four of us became published in only a few years of that first day I sucked it up and introduced myself in that chatroom.  Would we have done it without knowing each other?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

What are you waiting for?  If you're too late to be a part of NaNoWriMo this year, pledge to yourself--and writing friends--to participate next year.  Even better, do it on your own before next year.  Up the stakes and do it with a writer friend or two.  Encouragement is a noun that can help you and others reach your dream.
The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.  ~ Og Mandino

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