Blogger's note: Nebraska Writers Guild president and National Novel Writing Month Nebraska Lincoln region and Nebraska Elsewhere regions municipal liaison shares why NaNoWriMo works.
I’m a busy author—but I still do NaNoWriMo!
I write every day. I’m the president of the Nebraska Writers Guild. I have works sitting on publishers’ desks, and you can find my work on Barnes and Noble. I also have a script that will be staged on Nov. 5, so I’m directing as well. But I not only make time for NaNoWriMo, but I am the Municipal Liaison for two regions, the Nebraska::Lincoln region, and the Nebraska::Elsewhere region. Did I mention that I’m also a full-time retail manager? Nothing at all happens in retail in November, right? Yet here I am, planning events and getting ready to kick off another NaNovel. And in spite of how it appears, I don’t have a death wish. So, why do you find me manning the NaNo forums and entering my daily wordcounts into spreadsheets every November?
First of all, writing is for the most part, a rather solitary profession. I sit at my computer and intermittently stare at the walls and pound at the keyboard as I flesh out a story. I usually like my characters, but they really don’t do all that much to keep me company. During November, everybody is roughly at the same point in the noveling experience. We start on Nov. 1, and if the stars and planets align, we all finish by before the clock hits midnight Dec. 1. That gives us all the same things to commiserate about.
I love meeting all of the writers. I’m a social butterfly, I admit it. So, having the opportunity to meet so many like-minded individuals is really appealing. I’m always thrilled to see how many teens and young adults are in NaNoWriMo. Those people are then future of writing in Nebraska. Many of those new writers will find themselves on Dec. 1 asking, “Now what?” As the president of the Nebraska Writers Guild, I have answers. I can point them in the direction of groups that can help a new writer grow in the craft, and navigate the path to publication.
Most importantly, during the month of November, I set the course for the coming year. I apply the glue to the chair, and I write. 50,000 words in a month averages out to 1,666 words a day. I work 13-hour shifts, so I really only write full-time for half of the days of NaNoWriMo. So, I shoot for closer to 4,000 words a day those days. That way, when I don’t get anywhere near that word total on my paid-job days, I’m not stressed. Participating in NaNoWriMo turbo-charges my writing process. I allow myself the freedom to write without restrictions. I let the words flow without giving much thought to form and style. Yes, I know I’ll have to edit later, but some rare gems always manage to find their way out of the month of free-writing.
Come join us for a month of writing with pure abandon at www.nanowrimo.org. Because everyone has a story to tell.