Tag Archives: NANOWRIMO

Mini-NaNoWriMo…#SummerWritingChallenge, #WordCounts

As the Secretary of my chapter’s local RWA, I’m always thinking of ways I can help get the writers in my group motivated. Okay…let’s be honest: I’m always thinking of ways I can get myself motivated to write and I just use them as the excuse!

I write every day. I’ve mentioned that ad nauseum in this blog. But just because I write every day it doesn’t’ mean I wake up every morning with happy butterflies swarming around me and snow-white unicorns frolicking in the living room, thrilled to start the day’s writing session, my brain filled with award winning ideas and storylines. There are mornings ( a lot of them, truth be told) where I am just brain-fart dead and thinking of what to write makes me queasy.

So…in an attempt to get myself to finish the two books I have due, I’ve promoted a summer Mini-NaNoWriMo session with my NHRWA chaptermates.

I mustn’t be the only one who needs a fire lit under them during the summer days because a whole passel of them are writing along with me.

The rules are a little different from the month-long NaNoWriMo of November. We have 2 weeks – not 30 days; we can set a daily word count, a weekly one, or a total two-week count of any choosing, not the standard 50,000 words dictated by the NaNo-Gods. There is no official website to track progress, just a little ole’ Google.doc where I’m keeping track of everyone’s counts.

Easy peasy. No pressure.

I’ve got motivational memes lined up, words of writing inspiration and motivation saved in a NaNo folder, and I’m going to have little writing sprint sessions throughout the days to pushpushpush, I mean, HELP, my fellow writers. And ultimately myself!

My goal is my standard 2500 words per day, so after 14 days I should have………….(sorry, math isn’t my thing) 35,000 words. We’ll see how that goes.

Pray for me!

When I’m not trying to motivate myself and others you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, RWA, Strong Women

Home stretch…NaNoWrimo, Week 4

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It’s hard to think that November is almost gone already and with it, NaNoWriMo. On November 30th at midnight, not only will the month end – giving us 25 days until Christmas, but for the millions of writers around the world who are participating in this year’s annual event, it means we can all breathe a little easier, take a little break from the laptop ( a very little break!) and see where we are in our current works in progress ( WIP). Hopefully, many of us will have reached that brass ring of 50,000 words ( or more!) and be declared a WINNER by the NaNo team. Many of us will not have reached it, but that doesn’t make us any less a winner. Just devoting yourself to writing something any day is winning in my book.

I happened to make it to the golden number a while ago. Don’t hate me. I knew what I wanted to write, and my life is such that I can devote it to writing for long stretches if I so desire. I did. I realize I am one of the lucky ones who can do this.

But even if I hadn’t reached my goal I would still have considered my efforts winning-worthy. There’s an old saying that it’s not the destination of a journey that is important, it’s the journey itself. I sosososo agree.

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Just attempting to do the NaNoWriMo challenge is empowering. Getting in the habit of committing your words to your laptop everyday fosters that continual need to do so, so that, long after November is a memory, you are still devoting yourself to the thing that gives you such joy, namely, writing.

Take these last 4 days of the challenge and pour your heart and soul into it. Get those emotions, those worlds, those characters, settings, and plots from the depths of your imagination to the confines of the page.

The world needs your book.

And you need to give it to them.

When I’m not participating in NaNoWrimo, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, NaNoWriMo, NHRWA, Romance, RWA, Uncategorized

The benefits of writing sprints….

On my last NaNoWriMo post,  I told you a dirty little secret about how I bribe myself to continue writing when I’m getting tired/bored/unfocused. I give myself little incentives –aka BRIBES — to keep going and then reward myself when I’m done.

Another way I’ve found to keep myself motivated and typing  when I really want to do something else —  like watch a Real Housewives marathon or dive into the new J.D. Robb book on my Kindle — is to do timed writing sprints.

They don’t have to be very long, 15- 30 minutes at the least and 60 at the most ( mainly because there is no way on God’s green earth I can sit still longer than 60 minutes without imploding!) During these timed writing sprints I write as much as I can, knowing that I may have to stop in the middle of a sentence or a thought when my cell phone signals the time is up. I can justify this by knowing that the next time I get set to write I am prepared with what I want to say, how I want to say it, and how to carry the scene/dialogue/plot onward. Plus, this process keeps my body fresh and my mind sharp.

Knowing that my time is limited I can stay focused and set on getting my thoughts down on the page and not worry about spelling, tense, format, etc. I can always go back and fix that later on. The most important thing is getting everything I want to say, SAID, ( or written, in this case) before the time runs out.

If you’re one of those enviable people who can sit for long stretches of time, composing on end, without a break, know first that I hate you, and second, you are blessed! I have too much energy to sit still for long periods, which is why I hate to fly long distances or drive anywhere for more than an  hour before I need a break to stand up, stretch, and realign my body and soul. Writing in timed sprints allows me to do what I have to do – namely, get the words on the page – but also lets my body have a respite from sitting for too long.

Truly, my a** is big enough  – I don’t need to expand it further it by spending hours on end on it.

SO, writing sprints: they’re a good tool to use for NaNoWriMo.

When I’ not sprinting you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+

And for a little writing motivation/inspiration, here you go…. from me to you.

nano24

You’re more than welcome!

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NaNoWriMo2016 – day 3

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Another day….another thousand words.

So, how are you feeling this morning? Are your fingers still flying across the laptop? Are the words forming in your head faster than you can get them on the page ( or the screen!)? Are your characters pushing you, speaking to you, compelling you to get their story out to the word?

The beginning of every NaNo challenge is heady. You’ve got all this internal….STUFF… begging to come out, and you allow it to, thankfully. But think about the real reason you’re doing the challenge this year. It isn’t just to get you to finish a manuscript, or help you make a deadline. Those things are great, but NANOWRIMO is much more than that…so, hear me out.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is not simply to get you to write  50,000 words in a month. That’s a big part of it, sure. But the real underlying challenge is to instill in you the HABIT of writing every day. Of making a commitment to yourself to sit down and log in some scheduled, uninterrupted time for you to write.  We are all busy, have challenging lives, kids, dogs, life issues, you fill in the words that make it hard for you to do what you love.

But…NaNo wants you to understand the necessity of making writing every single day the norm, the routine, the matter of practice of your life.

What defines a habit? Webster’s Dictionary states it like this: a habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially something that is hard to give up. See those words, regular  and practice? And the ones that follow them – something that is hard to give up? This is what writing should be to you  – something you can’t give up on or let slide, no matter what.  When you take the time every single day to devote a few minutes or an hour, or several hours, to doing something you love – namely, writing – soon it will become so ingrained in you to do so, that NOT writing isn’t even an option or a thought in your head anymore.

My website tag is WRITING IS MY OXYGEN. And this is the truth. To me, writing every day is as essential and necessary to me as is breathing. If I couldn’t breathe every day, I would surely die. Well, if I don’t write every day, I feel as if I can’t breathe – emotionally, spiritually, and yes, even physically.

I once heard famed and uber-amazeballs author NORA ROBERTS liken writing every day to a muscle. She said (paraphrasing, here) “Writing is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, work it, use it frequently, you loose tone and substance. The muscle isn’t as strong, so you’re not as strong. You don’t function as well as you should or can.” That statement resonated with me on such a high level. And really, Nora Roberts should know about being a strong writer – the chick has over 400 books in print! She walks the walk and talks the talk like no other writer out there. It’s obvious she exercises her writing muscles daily.

So, today when you sit down to write, remember how you feel as you put your fingers to the keys. That sense of happiness, of fulfillment, of simple joy you get as you create those words on the page. Remember that feeling of elation. You’ll want to feel it again, and again, and again, and…. every day.

nano3

 

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Nano 11/2

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So, day one has come and gone. How did you do: wordwise, motivation-wise, time management-wise?

Were you able to bang out 3500 words yesterday? 2ooo? 50?

It doesn’t matter how many words.sentences/paragraphs.pages/chapters you did yesterday, BRAVO for starting.

There’s an old adage that reads, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. For us NANO’s I’m changing it to, a manuscript in 30 days starts at the first word.

Now, let’s keep it up. Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin to get you, well, stimulated.

nanopix

And if you need motivation and…stimulation of a more verbal kind, check out my NANOWRIMO Pinterest board.

My job here is done for now….. get writing, peeps. More tomorrow!

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NaNoWriMo-done-o! 11/30

It’s official: another November has come and gone and along with it NaNoWriMo.

 

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By midnight tonite  hundreds of thousands of writers around the globe who have been participating in what is charmingly called “NaNo Word Wars” will stop typing, lay down their pens, surrender their pencils and hit Save, then Submit  and verify into the NaNo site to confirm they have at least written 50,000 words of a work in progress.

So, if you participated where did you wind up today? 50,000 words? More? Less? Were you able to write every day, at least a few words, or did you fall into plot holes, POV problems, or just plain writing inertia somewhere along the way? Or did your everyday life and the responsibilities and obligations that go along with it get in the way of your writing? Don’t be upset if you didn’t make the mark for whatever reason. The fact you tried and got something down makes you a winner in my book.

50,000 words is a lot. A. Lot. Figuring that most romance novels fall between 65,000 and 90,000, 50 K could be considered almost done with your next novel.  And novellas can top off between 25 and 35,000.

I made my goal during the third week because I was on a role and have no other life but writing. No kids home to disturb me, and a husband who works 90+ hours per week, leaves me with a great deal of time to do this. And luckily, the book I was working on is the fifth in a series so I knew my characters and where I wanted to take them fairly well. Plus, I’m a plotter. Enough said.

Congratulations on the effort, the success, and the blood, sweat and tears for this year’s challenge. Onward to 2016. It’s only 365 days away!

nanowinnner

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, NaNoWriMo, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Still NaNoWriMo-ing

Day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I’m way into my current WIP ( work in progress). Yes, I love a personal challenge. Yes, I adore a writing challenge. And yes yes yes I love to combine them both.

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But I do have a life away from the laptop.

Yesterday, I started writing a 3 am ( chronic insomnia, folks) and went strong until 9 when I realized I couldn’t feel my a**. So, I got washed up and went off to the gym for  a few hours to pump and cardio myself into a clear head ( and a smaller a**).

Back home I banged out another 1200 words before I stopped for lunch, then another couple hundred more before I called it a day.

A day for writing that is. When I closed my WP program, I did three loads of laundry, ironed it all and put it way, vacuumed the four floors in my house – yes folks – 4 FLOORS – dusted, put various stuff away and a took care of paying the monthly bills.

Then I started dinner.

After dinner I worked on two courses I am taking online, wrote this blog and stashed another one away for a future release.  I am reading two books on kinesthetics, so I delved into those for  a while.Tomorrow  the car has to go in for service, so I will bring my laptop with me and NaNo while I wait ( like the way I made the challenge a verb, there?)

For those lucky people who can sit all day long and create ( and not have their a**es grow and spread) power to you. I am jealous. I am envious. I am filled with angst.

But not really, because…I do have another life.

So, if you are NaNo-ing, are you an all day typer, or do you take breaks? Let’s discuss

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NANOWRIMO primer

As I have for the past 3 years, I will be participating in this years NANOWRIMO competition. Writers know what this stands for. If you don’t, it’s National Novel Writing Month.

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As a kick-off, my Wild Rose Press Sistah, Angela Hayes is hosting me today. Come read about what NANOWRIMO means to me, personally, as a writer.  Here’s the link. Drop by and let me know if you are participating this year, Let’s discus….

 

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Challenges…

I love a writing challenge. That’s why I participate in NANOWRIMO every year, and whenever my local  chapter of RWA holds a writing challenge, I am raring to go.

Personal challenges are another thing entirely.

Backstory. Last Spring I attended a fund raiser for Project Graduation titled DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS. It was exactly like it sounds – the television show DWTS, just a local edition with people in my community as the “celebrities” or Stars. Everyone with me, including me, had an absolute blast. It was such a fun evening, that I volunteered to be a contestant the following year if they held it again.

Yeah, so. Be careful what you ask for.

I was asked, I said “Yes,” and I was thrilled.

Then the real work started. I am not a dancer. I barely have enough rhythm to keep upright when I walk (as evidenced by  the fact I fall a lot. A lot.) It  looks so easy SO EASY on television. The dancers get up, do a few steps, and there you have it.

Yeah, NO! I haven’t  sweated, thought, or worked so hard at something in a very long time. I actually think the last thing I did that was as mentally and physically challenging was childbirth. And my daughter is 25!

Anyway, the real purpose of this entry was to say that challenges come in all forms, and in order to grow and thrive as humans, we need to take them up from time to time. Learning how to dance the cha-cha has been an enervating and exhausting thing for someone as sedentary (both in mind and body) as myself. I have to think logically, count ( not my strong suit!) and concentrate on so many aspects – head up, don’t look down, keep your shoulders square, smile. It’s a lot for someone like me who basically hibernates in a solitary writing room.

But having said all that, it is a challenge that I willing took on and I don’t have ANY regrets. I have learned a great deal about myself these past two months and wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through. Well, maybe I’d lose a little more weight before starting, but that’s it! By challenging myself personally, I feel I’ve grown more as a person and a writer, because I have a million story ideas now concerning dancing. Ooo, baby!

If you’re in the neighborhood, here’s the link to get tix. Maybe I’ll see you there.  Just don’t throw any tomatoes at me!!

Project Grad 2015

 

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I love a challenge…

I love a challenge. There’s just something about committing to it, planning for it, and then executing it.  The ultimate goal – completing the challenge – is a high like none other. I’ve done 2 half marathons and the only goal I had with the first was to finish it upright and not on an ambulance stretcher. The second marathon had the same primary goal – run across the finish line – but I’d vowed to shave some considerable time off of my finish. And I did.

And I love a writing challenge most of all.

My local RWA chapter has a writing challenge every summer. You pledge to write every day, no matter what, for a week at a time. Every day you enter your word count for that day and it is totaled at the end of the week. The prize: accomplishing your goal. No trophies, cash prizes, or fabulous trips abroad ( although, wouldn’t that be nice?!) No, just the internal knowledge that you set out to do something and you did.

I’m a huge lover of NANOWRIMO. I’ve done it for the past several years and to me this is the ultimate test of your writing commitment. In order to “win” you must complete 50,000 words of your WIP from 11/1 until 11/30. You track daily and at the end of the month you must have a minimum of 50,00 words committed. This is a wonderful way of getting that first draft on the page.

Currently, RWA is having a writing challenge. You promise to write 2000 words each month in your WIP and then enter the actual word count at the end of the month on the RWA site. This is another motivator to get those fingers flying across the keyboard and unleash your imagination. And I can do 2000 in one sitting, never mind an entire month so this will be not only a fun challenge for me, but a relatively facile one as well.

So, what motivates you? Do you like a challenge? Does the idea of throwing down the gauntlet and committing yourself to a worthy ambition appeal to you? Do you need that proverbial kick in the a** to get you started? If so, CHALLENGE yourself.

 

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